Spotlight Athlete: Nickolas Kamen - Gulf Coast High School

Gulf Coast junior Nickolas Kamen has his eyes set on a top ten finish at state and helping his team earn a top five showing as well. Kamen says his training has been better than ever and he's ready to be more consistent in 2017.

How long have you been running and how did you get started?

I've been running since I was in 6th grade. Going into middle school I was only focused on basketball. The coach at the time, Coach Bremseth, told me that I could run cross country to help me train for basketball.  After the first season, I realized that I was actually better at running than basketball so I just stuck to it and got better each year.

Do you remember your first real race?

My first race in 6th grade was a 3k race against only 6th graders. All I remember is that I finished in 9th place and received my first ever medal. 

How is your summer training going?
Summer training this year has been really well. We've been training early in the morning everyday as a team. Towards the end of this summer I have been logging close to 65 miles a week.   his has been my best summer by far in comparison to my last two years and I am really looking forward to dropping my times.

What was your 2016 XC season like?

2016 XC was an overall successful season. I dropped my time from a 16:48 down to 16:23 & I won my first ever invitational which was a big milestone for me. I had some bad races and some great races. A big thing I need to work on this year is my consistency. I want to make every race a good one.  

What's a typical training week like?

Sunday: Off/short recovery run
Monday: Hard distance day/Tempo
Tuesday: Easy Distance
Wednesday: Speed workout/Fartlek
Thursday:  Easy Distance
Friday: Easy Distance
Saturday: Long Interrupted Run (up to 2 hours)

What is your favorite workout? 

4x1-mile repeats on the track is the best workout to me. It is an easy way to track my improvement from week to week and it simulates what you will feel like in a race. 

Which meets will you be running in this year?

Jim Ryun Season Opener
Estero DDD
Fort Myers Invite
North Port
FSU Pre-State
and the post-season.

Do you have a favorite course? What do you think is the toughest course in the state? 

My two favorite courses are the FSU course and Holloway Park. I have a lot of great memories running at the Holloway course and the FSU course is good for getting a PR. The toughest course in the state has to be the one at Estero Park, no question.

Out of all your running accomplishments so far, which stands out the most?

Winning the Jim Ryun Season Opener last year was huge for me.  It was my first time actually winning an official high school race and to do it in front of one of the greatest high school runners of all time was an amazing feeling. 

What are your goals for the upcoming cross country season?

I have some pretty high goals for the next season of cross country.  My first goal I want to conquer is to get under 16 minutes for a 5k.  Another goal I have is to earn a top 10 medal at the State Championship.  I need to be able to run with that top group at state and catch some of the juniors and seniors ranked ahead of me. Team wise, I think we can be in contention for a top five spot in the state.

What do you love most about running?

The thing I love most about running is that you get out of it what you put into it.  You can choose if you want to work hard to achieve your goals or not.  

The Low Down

Do you have a favorite quote?

"You're never a loser until you quit trying" - Mike Ditka

Do you have any pre-race rituals or routines?

The night before a big race I will try envision myself having a good race.

What is your favorite food?

Pasta with grilled chicken.

What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

Tommy Boy. It's one of my favorite movies ever.

What brand of shoes do you train/race in? 

I train in Adidas BOOST and race in Nike Victory 2.

What professional athlete would you like to meet the most?

Usain Bolt.

Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?

I'll take one airplane, one pilot, and some fuel to make it back to civilization.

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