BRATTLEBORO -- If a person ran a total of 500 miles over a 93-day period, how many miles did they average per day?
Tanner Nichols, who did just that during the summer, could probably give you that answer without the use of a calculator. After all, Hinsdale’s cross-country standout is currently ranked third in his class by Grade Point Average.
The hard work that the senior puts forth in the classroom and on the trails has earned him the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Student Athlete of the Month award.
"I think it’s a huge honor. It feels great to be recognized for my accomplishments. It’s also big for our school, because cross country is new to our school," said Nichols, who is also a member of Hinsdale’s track and basketball teams.
On the trails in the fall, he won his school’s first home meet ever by holding off Monadnock’s Christopher Newell (see photo above). And then he prevailed in a five-school meet in Hillsboro in 17:39 -- becoming the first Pacer to record a sub-18:00.
"I’m proud of him. He’s earned this honor. He really works hard," stated Hinsdale track and cross-country coach Glenn Hammett.
Hammett once challenged his kids with a 300-mile club and Nichols was the only runner to log that many miles as a junior. He then ran 500 miles this past summer.
That’s 5.376344 miles per day.
"I saw him running his 10-mile loop. It’s legit (that he ran 500 miles)," added Hammett.
And Nichols credits hard work for his success in the classroom as well.
"It’s all about getting the work done, doing your homework and applying yourself. You have to take an interest in it," he noted.
Along with his dominance in the fall, Nichols has been ripping down rebounds and taking charges as Hinsdale’s power forward this winter. But it’s track that is his favorite sport.
"I like that you can pick your events and specialize in them," said the senior who hopes to become a decathlete in college. He has competed in the javelin, 200, 400, 800 and mile in preparation.
And he’s hoping to attend MIT.
"It’s probably the most prestigious school in the Northeast. They only accept the top notch, and I want to prove to my community that I belong there," said Nichols.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.