PALATINE, Ill. – Harper student-athlete Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) performed outstandingly both in the classroom and at his sports in his time at Harper College. The sophomore recently graduated from Harper and will continue his collegiate career at Judson University in Elgin.
Modlin's list of accomplishments as a Harper Hawk is lengthy. The Wheeling High School product was a key part of two national championship-winning cross country teams. On the track, Modlin took fourth in both the 5k and 10k at nationals in 2013, and in 2014 took sixth place in both the 3000m steeplechase and 5k.
In the classroom, the mathematics secondary education major maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, won N4C Academic All-Conference honors for two straight years and won the Math Discipline Award.
Modlin was drawn to Judson because of the proximity and its beautiful campus. From an athletic perspective, he likes that the team is very down-to-Earth and feels like he will fit in perfectly. Academically, Judson has the program Modlin needs for math/education.
"They are definitely hard-working," Modlin said of his new teammates. "The school covered what I was looking for."
The former Harper College Athlete of the Week also likes what he sees in head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach Tim Ciochon.
"I like the fact that he runs with his runners and does all the workouts. He's very individualized with his training work and very specific in what he asks for," Modlin said.
Modlin feels Harper prepared him for this next step by introducing him to collegiate running. The Hawks competed against NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III schools on a regular basis as well as NAIA schools and junior colleges.
He also credits coaches Jim Macnider and Renee Zellner for being fantastic coaches and for their mindset towards running. Macnider and Zellner both emphasized running for the love of running and doing it every day so that you can get a lot out of it.
Looking back at his Harper experience, Modlin will miss a few things.
"I'll miss the family atmosphere and how we'd joke around on runs and talk with coach Macnider. The team was really close," he said. "When you leave those types of things, they are worth missing."
Zellner will miss Modlin's commitment to the team and his personal goals. She describes Modlin as "very intelligent, mature and supportive" and a wonderful role model for the freshman runners.
"He ran exceptionally well and continually improved his times, scoring valuable points for the team at nationals," Zellner said. "He is truly a kind young man. Judson is very fortunate to have him."