As we continue with our Alumni Spotlight project we turn our attention back to the track and cross-country course as we feature future Hall of Fame runner Nick Karwoski. Nick was part of one of the most dominant runs (pun intended) in Dickinson running history but recalls it was the people and community that made him strive for greatness every time he laced up his running shoes and put on a Red Devil uniform.
Nick grew up in New Hampshire where he played just about every single sport imaginable before landing on cross country. "I had some success in middle school and high school," Nick said. "I realized I wanted to run in college and I wanted a school that had an international component to it and focused on business, 'whatever that meant to a high schooler,' and be able to study abroad and play a competitive sport."
Nick applied to eleven different schools, some of which were in the Centennial Conference. After being accepted to seven, rejected from three, wait listed at one and not knowing which way to go, he told his parents, "you pick. They loved the limestone of Dickinson, they loved Carlisle, and ultimately that's where we decided I was going to go," Nick stated.
Once he arrived on campus Nick and his fellow classmates went to work on helping push the Dickinson men's running programs to new heights. Witnessing the motivation and passion that the older runners had inspired Nick to want to achieve success. "We just had a really close group of cross country kids. Everyone was testing the waters but we all worked hard." Having that group of people that were enjoying what they were trying to accomplish, while also balancing academics, other organizations, and a social life aided in the increased improvement of the program and each runner as an individual.
The mindset that Nick and his teammates developed to pursue excellence helped push the programs to back-to-back Centennial Conference titles in 2008 and 2009 as well as the trifecta in 2009-10 when the Red Devils won the men's cross country, and indoor and outdoor track & field Centennial Conference Championships. From All-Conference to All-American, Nick became one of the most decorated runners in program history and now he will be achieving the ultimate honor, a spot in the Dickinson Athletics Hall of Fame.
"I remember in the spring of 2010 at Muhlenberg's track. I was coming around turn in the final lap of the 5K, the final 200-meters knowing 'this is it,' I am going to get this victory," Nick stated. "Seeing Anthony Abate, Greg Smart, and all the women's and men's team lined up along the track for final 150 meters, just cheering and clapping was a more exciting moment for me than the All-American honors and other accolades or personal things I achieved. It solidified that this was a team effort."
Since graduating Nick has had some remarkable experiences. Working as a production assistant in Los Angeles, getting in with a startup company that was featured on Shark Tank called Surfside Fitness, and moving back to Boston. Having a chance to train with the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team all over the world from Arizona to San Diego to Spain and Australia for three years.
These experiences gave Nick the idea and vision to start his own company called Tag Along that connected professional athletes with regular athletes and weekend warriors to improve their training, pick their brains, or even meet in person for a training session. From that Nick was connected with another startup called Hydro and has helped grow the company to help athletes around the world improve in their respective fields.
"I have been given a lot of opportunity in my life both athletically and professionally," Nick said. "I was fortunate to be raised in a family that always strived for success and being from a family and having friends, who enjoyed your success, makes giving back important and a way to tell your own story." All the experiences Nick has had throughout his life are unique to his own story and make him the man he is today.
As an athlete, Nick continued to develop throughout his career, earning numerous accolades in both cross country and track & field. In cross country, he ran to All-Region honors in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and earned first-team All-Centennial Conference honors in his junior and senior seasons. He led the Red Devils to back-to-back conference titles, dethroning perennial champion Haverford College in 2008 and 2009, placing second in 2007. During his tenure, Dickinson won four straight Little Three Championships with Nick crossing the line first in 2007. The team made three NCAA appearances and won three Dickinson Long/Short Invitational titles, setting the conference record with the lowest score at championships in 2009.
Moving to indoor track & field, Nick earned All-America honors in the 5,000 meters and was named the Centennial Conference Outstanding Performer in 2010. He won a conference title in the 3,000 in 2010 and captured silver medals in the 5000 in both 2008 and 2010. Upon graduation, he held school records in the 3,000, 5,000 and the 4x1600 relay.
Outdoors, he earned All-America honors in the 3,000 and the steeplechase, setting school records in both in 2010, while also holding school marks in the 1,500 and 2,000-meter events. He was the Outstanding Track Performer at the 2010 championships, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the 5,000 and the 10,000-meters. He was the team's Most Valuable Runner in 2010 and broke three conference championship meet records during his career, one indoors and two in the outdoor season.
To view Nick's interview in its entirety with Assistant Athletic Director Justin Farrell, click on the link below.