2024 Gazette Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year: Nicolas Lisle, Amherst

Amherst’s Nicolas Lisle (far right) was selected as the 2024 Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year 

Amherst’s Nicolas Lisle (far right) was selected as the 2024 Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year  STAFF FILE PHOTO

Amherst’s Nicolas Lisle was selected as the 2024 Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year by the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Amherst’s Nicolas Lisle was selected as the 2024 Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year by the Daily Hampshire Gazette. FILE PHOTO

By BRADYN COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 04-23-2024 2:05 PM

In only his second year of indoor track and field at Amherst Regional High School, Nicolas Lisle quickly became one of the most talented runners in the state. In a sport that pushes one to their limits both physically and mentally, it leaves very little room for error where one must rely on their training.

Lisle’s big season led him to being selected as the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

“The kid’s a hard worker and he works with some of the better guys that I've seen here,” said Amherst head coach David Thompson. “He pushes himself, and he's willing to go all out. It doesn't matter how much you have to do, he's gonna leave it all on track because he's a great competitor, and the fact that he's only a sophomore and he's starting to come into his own is really good.”

Track and field is a very effort-based sport; meaning whatever work you put in, that is the result that you can expect. For Lisle, the work he has put in to become what he is today is remarkable, for his skill, work ethic, and confidence have raised his ceiling tremendously.

“I listen to my coach for the mileage we do in the week, and at the end of workouts, if I'm not on the floor after every one, then I know I didn't really try that hard,” said Lisle.

Working alongside Amherst distance coach Bob Rosen, the two often train in unison to construct the most efficient training plan. Whether it’s a long run, easy run, cross-training, workout, or recovery, there is a level of trust and communication that allows Lisle to compete at an elite level.

“One of the benefits of coaching sharp kids who are experienced is that you get to rely on their judgment, you don't just tell them this is how it is and this is what we're going to,” said Rosen. “You learn that these kids have a sense of what they can handle, which doesn't mean you don't push them hard, but you work collaboratively to figure out what's working and what isn't or what day to do something.”

Lisle is what many coaches dream of having on their team because he is the type of runner that will thrive in a multitude of events from the 400 meters all the way up to the 1,000.

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“I had one really almost perfect race in states in the four by eight [relay], I think I ran [a] 1:58 [split],” said Lisle. “For each lap, I try and go 27, 29, 31, 29 [seconds] for each 200, and I think everything was perfect, but my last lap was a 30 instead of 29.”

Lisle has been praised by his coaches for his sheer dedication and willingness to put energy into track and it certainly shows. In comparison to his times from last indoor season as a first year, he shaved nearly six seconds off of his 600-meter time (1:23.94) and dropped almost 23 seconds off of his 1,000 (2:37.85). As big of a difference as there was between his times in the 1,000, Lisle wanted to make the 600 his main event on the track, and to no surprise, he placed third overall by 0.4 seconds at the MIAA Division 3 Indoor Track Championships. Lisle was the winner of the event at the PVIAC Individual Championships this winter.

“He's pretty perceptive, and I trust his judgment,” said Rosen. “I tend to listen to him in workouts when he's running really fast and then toward the end of a workout when he says he's had it, I don't force him to do the last one or two things.”

Not only has Lisle been successful in his individual events, but he was an essential piece of the dominant Amherst Regional 4x800 relay team this winter. Lisle was the first of four legs in this relay and would execute it to perfection as he would leave teams in the dust and run away with the lead. Although many people believe that the anchor leg is the end all be all, the first leg of this relay is just as important because it is far easier to extend a lead rather than make up ground – especially on an indoor track.

Splitting a 1:58, Lisle was able to lead his team that was seeded 11th overall to a 3rd place podium finish at the Meet of Champions – thus qualifying the relay for both New Englands and Nationals. Amherst had already won the Div. 3 state title with a blistering race.

“He's only a sophomore, but he's become an elite runner,” said Rosen. “He's got a beautiful, long, efficient stride, and he's tall. When you look at runners who are elite, say, ‘Yeah, that's what you want to look like.’ That's Nico, and he's got a lot of high school running left.”