By Chuck Licata
âNik has improved so much from last year.Â He has been our number one runner every meet but one. â LHHS cross country coach Kim Holt on Nik Crozier this season.
Such are the words of Holt about Nikita (Nik) Crozier, the son of Trevor and Kelly Crozier and brother to three younger sisters, Karisa (15, a sophomore at LHHS); Taylor (11, a 6th-grader at Liberty Hill Intermediate) and Cristina (age 5).
Besides his coach, Crozier (who celebrated his 17th birthday this past Sept. 2) has been cited by many in the LHHS cross-country program as being the most improved runner from last season.
âMy improvement this year has been the most drastic improvement that I have had in high school,â Crozier stated. âI have reduced my PR (personal record) from last year by over a minute.
âI think a major factor forÂ my improvement is ourÂ off-season training over the past summer.Â Robert (Koepl),Â Andrew (Waller), Brian (Cantwell) and IÂ came to the high school to lift weights and run. We definitely benefitted from that; we are now all stronger runners. We were able to start out the season with a âbaseâ to work from instead of coming into the season andÂ having to get that base before we could improve.â
The improvement has shown for both Crozier and his LHHS teammates â a team victory at the UTSA meet earlier this season made a âstatementâ for Crozier and his mates.
âIt's kind of a new experience for me (to be the first finisher for LHHS at meets),â Crozier said confidently. âI honestly think itâs helpedÂ make me get faster. I'm not relying on the front runner to get our team to a high place; instead, I'm constantly trying to get faster to not let the team down.
âThe UTSA meet showed us we have a real shot at getting past regionals.Â Thatâs what we are working toward; we want to be the first guysâ team to get to state.â
The trip to starts Oct. 27 at the District 25-3A meet in Llano.
âI'mÂ ecstatic about districts coming up,â Crozier said. âEver since I've been in high school I've wanted to be a part of the team that brings a district title back to Liberty Hill. It's been awhile, since 1998, and I think we've got the best shot we've ever had. We have to continue to beat Salado. We want it more than they do.â
Crozier appreciates all the support he and his team receives from the LHHS community. One of Crozierâs running idols is former 1970âs running icon Steve Prefontaine.
âHe had some pretty good (running) times his freshman and sophomore year (at the University of Oregon),â Crozier stated. âBut then he started some off-season training and his times dropped drastically. I tried following this plan and itâs worked so far.â