A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Alexander Nichols '22

Alexander graduated from Rye Country Day in 2022 and continued his academic and track & field career at Amherst College. 

Alexander first competed in Track & Field at Rye Country Day during his junior year—a knee injury and the COVID pandemic sidelined him in the years prior. As his love for the sport grew, his times shrank. Alex was a remarkably fast newcomer on the track. He ended the year with a time of 11.2 seconds in the 100m, clinching the FAA Champion title in both the 100m and 200m. His senior year campaign followed a similar trend; the quality of his performances increased alongside his appreciation for the game. All of Alex’s hard work culminated at the 2022 FAA Championship, where his time of 10.96 seconds in the 100m broke the Rye Country Day record. 

The Amherst College Mammoths, Alex’s current team, have shown him how to train and compete at the next level. In his first year of collegiate track, he prioritized building durability and strength over short term performance. And the work is paying off. The team broke a 50-year school record in the 4x100m relay, finishing the season with a time of 41.37 seconds. This mark also broke the all-time NESCAC record.

What is a highlight of your college athletic career thus far?

My 4x100 relay team at Amherst was the highlight of my first season. My athletic career has always been filled with team sports—I greatly value the rapport and solidarity sparked by teamwork. With Cody, Ben, and Jordan, I found that. Through practice and collaboration, we broke a 50-year school record, and at the following meet, we broke a NESCAC record. I most enjoy, however, these friendships that have grown strong through competing as a team.

What was one of your favorite moments when you were a student-athlete at RCDS?

Breaking the Rye Country Day 100-meter record. The Wildcats have seen some fast sprinters, so at the start of my first year, I was inspired to chase the school record. Starting my track career in just junior year, it all happened so quickly, and breaking the record in my senior year convinced me that I could run track at the collegiate level. Staring at the clock, surrounded by family and Wildcat teammates, will always be a favorite RCDS memory. It reminds me that if I commit to something and practice, I can do it. 

What advice would you give to current students at RCDS looking to continue their career as a student-athlete?

Find what you enjoy and invest energy. For me, optimizing training is rewarding. Research, implementation, and evaluation all get my blood pumping. Track is extra responsive to training, so any small step in fitness goes a long way. Time is precious, and if you devote time to a sport, why not give 100 percent? (shoutout to former Coach Barile). An easy and effective way to motivate full focus is to thoroughly enjoy what you are doing. 

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time as a student-athlete at RCDS?

My time at RCDS was greatly impacted by COVID. We lost full seasons and had limited practice schedules, training, and recruiting opportunities. Through it all, Rye Country Day’s community of driven, talented students and athletes taught me how to produce results. I learned how to cultivate connection, joy, and competition—the three are not mutually exclusive. The coaches at RCDS were invaluable to my experience and success. Their guidance shattered the fear and unknown of COVID, and their college referrals substituted the lack of competition (big thank you to Coach O!). At RCDS, I learned success takes a village.

Once A Wildcat, Always A Wildcat!

Photo Courtesy of Amherst College Flickr

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