Salute to Seniors: Nick Kamen

Before the class of 2019 makes their final farewells to high school cross country and track and field, we want to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time! FLRunners invites all seniors to tell their stories from the past four years.

Today we salute Gulf Coast HS senior, Nick Kamen

What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

My most memorable race was definitely my 8th place finish at the FHSAA 3A State Cross Country Meet. I came through the mile in about 70th place and worked my way up to 13th by the time I reached mile 2.  From that point it just came down to guts and having a good kick at the end. All of my hard work and strategy had finally paid off and I hit my goal of finishing top 10 in the state.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

I've raced against so many different people over the years, so it is hard to pick just one.  However, Estero has always had the team/individual to beat locally. I have had many memorable racing experiences with Arye Beck and Hugh Brittenham, and I always looked forward to racing against them.  Those were the races that always pushed me to perform my best.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

I would say my biggest accomplishment in running was the day I officially signed to run Division 1 cross country and track with the University of South Florida.  Go Bulls!

Who would you consider your biggest role model over your four years competing? 

My biggest role models over the four years have been my teammates for sure.  It is really inspirational to see how hard everybody works from the fastest to the slowest runners on the team.  Their dedication to show up everyday for 5 a.m. practices has made a big impression on me and the way I perceive the sport.


If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?

I would not change a single part of my high school running career.  I have had lots of very high and very low moments in competition, but I take all of them as blessings and learning experiences for the future. 

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? How did you overcome them?

I had a hamstring injury during my junior year that had a really big impact on my cross country season.  I took two weeks off, but came back early to finish out District, Regional, and State for my team. It was tough to come back and not be as fast as I was prior to injury, but I was able to overcome this through rehab and trusting my training.  

What advice would you give to younger athletes?

High School goes by REALLY fast.  Work as hard as you can and make lots of friends.  There are a lot of interesting people who do cross country and track.

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

Well, I have had many different coaches during high school.  They have all taught me different respective lessons that I will take with me in life.  I'd say the biggest lesson from it all would be to accept change and grow from it. It is easy to blame factors that are not in your control, but it is important to take the things you can control and use them to your advantage.

What are your post-high school or college plans?

I plan to attend the University of South Florida to study Civil Engineering and continue my running career.

Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

My family, coaches, teachers, mentors, friends, teammates, and competitors for giving me the motivation and guidance to perform well. 

Is there anything else you'd like to add?


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