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Running with the Hawk

Abbotsford’s Nathan Henczel has athletic and academic aspirations

Nathan Henczel, a Grade 11 student at W.J. Mouat, is hoping to earn a spot at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships next month with a strong showing at Thursday's Upper Fraser Valley meet in Abbotsford. Photograph by: Submitted Photo, For the Times

By Cam Tucker, Abbotsford Times, May 4, 2011

If Forrest Gump was a real person, rest assured Nathan Henczel of W.J. Mouat in Abbotsford could give him a run for his money.

Henczel, a captain of the Mouat Hawks track and field team and football team in the fall, recently placed first in the boys 400-metre event at the District Track and Field meet on April 28, and is hoping to follow that up with a similar result in the Upper Fraser Valley meet today at Rotary Stadium.

“I feel great right now,” Henczel said on Tuesday night.

“I’m a lot more confident than I was last year.”

Henczel, a Grade 11 student, also competed in the 100-metre sprint and pole vault competitions on Wednesday at Rotary, however results were unavailable before the Times’ afternoon deadline.

With a strong showing at the Upper Fraser Valley meet, Henczel can earn a spot competing at the Fraser Valley Championships on Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17 in Coquitlam.

“My goal is to make it to provincials and compete,” he said.

“It will give me more confidence for when I’m in Grade 12, and maybe then I can try and place in one of the top positions.

“Right now I’m working on improvement.”

Not only is Henczel dedicated to improving his track and field standing, but also his skills on the football field.

As a receiver and defensive back, running just comes with the job description.

Inevitably, running laps during track season only enhances his ability on the gridiron.

“I do track so I can keep my speed and my fitness levels up,” he said. “I also like to try out some leadership techniques.”

Henczel also leads my example off the field.

Admittedly not a genius, whatever he may think he lacks in brain power he makes up for with hard work and determination, which has resulted in an A average, at 89 per cent.

Both education and sport are very important to his future plans, he said.

“I’m going for an athletic scholarship,” he said, adding that’s the incentive for his impressive academic showing.

“I know colleges are looking for athletes. I’m looking to get [a scholarship] mainly for football, but I’ll take one for track and field too.”

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