Distance runner makes big strides in 3,200-meter run

Track Action

Saturday, May 11, 2024, TRIB-LIVE

Nicky Clump wasn’t intimidated by sliding his way through the pack at the start of races when he started with distance running. Ever since Clump can remember, he would go out running with his dad, David “Andy” Clump.

Andy ran while attending high school in Doddridge County, W.Va., and continued to do so with his son. Before Nicky Clump took on his first middle school race, he competed in 5ks to help prepare for the pressure.

“Back then, I wasn’t very fast,” Nicky said. “It helped me having so many people there to push past them and get through the pain. It was a good warm-up.”

Clump finished in sixth place at the Baldwin Invitational by finishing the 3,200-meter run in 9 minutes, 44.64 seconds to hit the WPIAL Class 3A championships qualifying time.

Clump said he needed to drop a little more than 10 seconds from his time to hit the standard.

“When I ran the two-mile, it didn’t feel that great,” Clump said. “It wouldn’t be as easy as I thought it would be initially. It was a fast race. I had people to go out with and figure out if I was on pace from there. After the first mile, I was on pace.”

Fox Chapel coach Tom Moul said that Clump has run well this spring. Having an experienced group of distance runners has helped push Clump’s times down.

“All of those guys work together,” Moul said. “They are friends. Nicky benefits greatly.”

Fox Chapel had a strong event all around at the Pine-Richland Invitational. Mason Miles pulled off a double win, finishing first in the shot put and discus. Miles threw the discus 147 feet, 1 inch, while he hurled the shot put 52-9.

Moul was happy that Miles got a confidence boost. He suffered a finger injury in March that forced him to take some time off from throwing the shot put.

“He was lucky it didn’t affect his ability to throw the discus,” Moul said. “It was sort of an unexpected benefit that he could take more time to focus on the discus.”

Fox Chapel had several other athletes place in the top 10. Rowan Gwin finished in second place in the 1,600-meter run and mile run.

Anna Troutman finished in second place in the 100-meter hurdles, third in the high jump and seventh in the long jump. Anna Kintner placed ninth in both the long jump and triple jump, while Claire Conti finished fourth in the discus, eighth in the shot put and ninth in the javelin. Alyssa Quackenbush finished in sixth place in the 200 dash. Maya DiPasquale finished in eighth place in the 800-meter run.

For Clump, he feels fortunate that he always has someone to push him. Before competing in school, Clump had his dad challenge him. Now, Clump runs with David Black and tries to keep up.

“I’ve been running with David Black since freshman year and even before that in middle school,” Clump said. “I see every race how much he improves. I always try to think that I’ve been running for as long as him and I need to improve by that too.”