This week’s featured athlete of the week is the multi talented star from Provo High School, Nicole Laws. This indoor season, if Nicki wasn’t winning she was very close at every meet. With 2 wins at the BYU Indoor Invite, one at the UHSTCA Championships, and one at the Golden Sprint Challenge this weekend, she has set her self up for a great senior season for the Bulldogs.
You can view Nicki's Top marks of the season here
Nicole (Center) after her victory at the Golden Sprint Challege 2013 - Photo Courtesy of Akwasi Frimpong
How many total events did you compete in at the Golden Sprint Challenge?
I did three, the 60, the 60h and 200. I just tossed my self in the 200 at the last minute.
And in some of the meets this indoor season I saw that you did the High Jump as well?
Yeah I do that too.
SO how many total events would you say you will do this season?
Across the board, maybe 10 events total. And if you count the 60m dash and 60 Hurdles as separate events then maybe 12 total events.
Of those different events, which is your favorite to compete in?
Hurdling and High Jump are my two favorites, They’re the most fun events.
Nicki leading over the final hurdle at the BYU Indoor Invite - Photo by Kyle Perry
And is your Coach going to make you do any 300m Hurdles as well?
Yes, I also do those as well.
Which of the events you do, which would you say is the most difficult?
I would say training for the 800, for the Heptathlon.
Oh you’re going to try a Hep this year?
Yeah at the BYU invitational.
Okay so training for the distance is the hardest?
Yeah that’s always the hardest.
So you say you’re taking a break right now
Are there any more races for you this Indoor season?
No more races indoor for me.
And what’s you’re first meet outdoor?
I think it will be the 16th or 17th of March.
And will that be at Provo?
No, our track is getting ripped out! They’re putting in a new one. So the first one that I am competing in is the Kearns relays I want to say.
How do you prepare for such a wide variety of events?
Luckily enough, a lot of the events have a lot to do with each other, so at the big meets I do my focus events like the hurdles and the High Jump, but at the dual meets and tri meets I do all the little stuff and get practice done in events like the throws. Every now and then I throw one of those in so I don’t spread myself too thin. I can’t be doing everything every week or I’ll wear myself out.
So we are going to see how that goes this year, because I’ve never really trained hard for the Heptathlon, so I’m not exactly sure how the workout schedule is going to go.
What is the hardest workout you’ve ever done?
What is the farthest your coach has made you go?
Probably about 3 miles.
So you’re definitely a sprinter?
Some of the kids are like “I just went on a 9 mile run” and I want to gag, I wish I could do that.
Well us distances runners wish we could run fast.
I guess you pick and choose your battles.
Who is coaching you in your events right now?
Miles coaches me in the hurdles, so he is my main coach more than anyone else, and we have a lot of interns from BYU that come help.
And How do you like working with miles?
Its fun. He’s really good, not always very serious but he’s fun.
What is your favorite workout that he’s had you do?
I love hurdle drills. When we do sprint workouts and stuff I like anything that has to do with hurdles.
Tell me a little more about your team at Provo. Who else should we be watching for this season?
Well today was our first day of outdoor practice, and there were a lot of people out, and a lot of people trying new things, so its probably too early to say.
I would probably say James Ortiz. He does the 400 and he is doing pretty well. Also Alex Robison is awesome all the time. Also Chase Heiner. He does the 200 and 400m dash. He's only a sophomore and he's super fast.
How do you like your team’s hopes for a state championship?
Its still too early to tell. With Monday being our first day of practice, we haven’t really gone over the long-term goals yet.
Now moving on to your competitors, who are some of the people you like competing against?
I really like competing against the whole Davis team. All their girls are so good and they’re so nice that it is just so much fun. I love competing with them. Especially Christine Van Brocklin. I’m very excited to race against her in the 300 hurdles this year. She’s more of a 400 runner, so I’m kind of excited to see how she does in that.
Do you have any other hobbies outside of track and field?
Well I used to do dance but I quit dance for Track. I do Music, I play Piano, and Guitar, and I sing. But school and track is what takes up my time lately
Do you have any prerace rituals that you like to go through on race day?
Like any superstitions on race day?
I always Hurdle in the same socks. Is that what you’re looking for?
Well in high school I always wore my jersey under my shirt on race day for good luck, so that’s why I ask.
That’s so funny, that’s awesome.
Back to the Socks: if you were to race in a different pair of socks do you think you’d run not as fast or jump not as high?
Um, I don’t really know
What is it about those socks that made them your special socks?
One of my friends gave them to me before he left on his mission. I was always stealing my brother-in-laws socks, so my friend said “here, have my socks”
After your race is over do you have any indulgences that you like or any habits like that? What do you crave on race day after the race?
Actually I just crave a burger and a shake.
Everyone has something after a race that they like to have when the meet it done. I always wanted a piece of pizza or a burger.
That makes me feel better now that you’ve said that, since its not just me
Do you have any funny running related stories?
Well one day I was doing hurdle practice in the hallways, and the basketball players were walking by on their way to the locker room and one of the guys yelled my name and whistled at me, and I tanked it over a hurdle. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for but it was really embarrassing.
Great! Embarrassing stories are great content for the website haha.
Were you distracted by the whistle or what happened there?
I don’t even know, I just hit the hurdle and tanked on the ground and took a few hurdles out.
Well if you haven’t knocked a few hurdles over you’re not trying right?
My whole leg is numb to hitting hurdles now it doesn’t even phase me.
This is Nicki’s senior year at Provo High, and she has given a verbal commitment to stay in Provo next year and represent the Cougars of BYU. At BYU she will likely do even more Heptathlon training and will follow in the footsteps of some very good hurdlers that have gone through Provo.
Previous Featured Athletes