After being off for a year and a half due to a torn upper-hamstring, Utah Valley University senior Nick Taylor is back at it with big goals in mind. Taylor ran four meets at the end of last season, but is prepared to do what it takes to stay healthy and compete all year long.
“This is probably the best start that we’ve had in a while. Ever since I’ve been here everyone is really competitive and we are after a lot of things and another championship would be nice. But so far the way we are looking it would be hard to beat us in this conference,” said Taylor.
Being from Houston, Taylor isn’t quite used to running in the cold. While he was home for Christmas it was 88 degrees, and he was able to get in some practice with his younger brother, Brandon, who is the fastest high school runner in the United States and is currently striving to beat Taylor’s time.
“He went 6.78, 6.72 [seconds], I got to stay on top of him and remind him I’m the big brother,” Taylor said. “That fuels everything I do.”
Taylor earned WAC Athlete of the Week the second week of the 2016 indoor season after reaching a personal record at BYU. Although running is mostly an individual effort, Taylor understands what it means to be on a team.
“Individually, my PR doesn’t mean that much because of the bigger goal I see in my head. It was a good accomplishment, but I’ve been in that place before and came up a little short of my bigger goal,” added Taylor, “ I have terrific teammates that support me, so having them behind me means a lot.
It’s not what they can learn from me; it’s what I can learn from them and what you see at the end is an individual effort. But what it takes to get to that point, is not individual.”
Running and competing in races hasn’t always been a part of Taylor’s life. In fact, he didn’t compete in his first race until the end of his junior year of high school when his karate coach encouraged him to give sprinting a try. Taylor’s dad told Nick that if he would just run once and didn’t like it then he wouldn’t have to run again.
“I won my first meet and said I could get used to this feeling and I kept going and now I’m here,” said Taylor.
Taylor is the anchor of a track team that is the defending WAC champions for both indoor and outdoor and one of the best athletic teams at UVU, However, they get little recognition, particularly because they rarely have a home meet.
“Come to a track meet. You’ll enjoy it; we don’t lose too often, individually or as a team,” said Taylor. “We are one of the best teams that people don’t really know about. But, it’s all right; being the underdog isn’t too bad. We aren’t supposed to win, but we do win.”