Nishi: Most Accomplished Athlete In Harwood History

Nishi: Most Accomplished Athlete In Harwood History

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

Liam O'Toole, Reporter

Does the name Sam Nishi resonate with you? I hope it does, if not I am about to inform you of the most accomplished athlete in Harwood history. I remember playing baseball against Nishi in middle school; he was so fast! As long as he put the ball in play he would outrun the throw. His bright future was clear when he placed 20th at Vermont State’s Cross Country Meet his freshman year. Then, amazingly, Nishi took third place his sophomore year. This was just the beginning of his success.

Nishi’s list of accolades is truly staggering. He was Times Argus Runner of the Year in 2013 and 2014. He broke Harwood’s thirty-three year-old 5K record in Belfast, Maine, with a time of 15 minutes and 50.48 seconds. He was the Gatorade Runner of the Year in 2013 and 2014. This award is not only about running; it is given to the athlete that is academically strong and contributes to his/her community. This honor is truly incredible, and receiving it two years in a row is even more impressive.

I haven’t even discussed the most incredible part of Sam Nishi; he is humble and quick to recognize others. When asked about his teammates, Nishi said, “The whole team; its like a good, tight knit group. We all support each other; it’s a big part of our success.” Heading into his senior year, Nishi had a lot to live up to; he was coming off a season where he was captain, Vermont Gatorade runner of the year and Times Argus Runner of the Year. Although Harwood has a historically strong cross country team they lost fourteen boys and thirteen girls from the 2013 team. Much of his success is credited to Harwood Cross Country Coach Kerrigan. Nishi believes, ”I couldn’t know myself as a runner without Kerrigan.” In a recent Times Argus article, Kerrigan was asked about Nishi’s senior year, “[I] thought it would be a rebuilding year. We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores, but we reloaded. For some of those kids, it might have taken them a year or two more to develop. But because Sam was their captain and their role model, they wanted to do well, because they felt like they were part of a great thing.”

In 2013, Nishi had a strong season with a winning time of 16:34.8 Vermont State Cross Country Championship. That season was capped off with a time of 15:54.9 at New Englands; a time good enough for 19th. This year, Nishi broke school records, leading Harwood to its third straight title.

Nishi is not only an incredible athlete but a great student and humble person. “He’s one of the most humble people I know, he’s a great student and a great athlete, and he never blows his own horn. He talks about other people’s accomplishments before himself. His mom said he’s got posters in his bedroom about being modest and not being flamboyant. And he even keeps me in line sometimes. He’s a very mature character. He leads with a quiet reverence.”