PA Salute to Seniors: Nick Wagner (Penn-Trafford)

Today, we salute Nick Wagner of Penn-Trafford. Wagner, who will head to Penn State in the fall, just closed out a great high school career. He was a state qualifier three times indoors and once outdoors. He was eighth in the indoor states as as a junior and fourth as a senior in the 800. At outdoor states this past May, Wagner ran a big 800 meter PR of 1:51.79 to take second in the state.

Throughout the end of June and through July we we be honoring our graduating seniors. To submit your own questionnaire to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (

To check out all the Salute To Senior submissions so far, click here!


What was your most memorable race/competition?
My most memorable race would have to be my last high school race ever at the PIAA State Meet. In the Prelims I ran the last 300m with only 1 shoe because I got clipped from behind, and in the finals I hit a 2 second PR and finished as the Runner-Up in the 800M.

Where did you face your biggest competition?
Probably the 2016 Indoor State Meet. If you go back and look at all the names that were medalists, they are all doing big things in college now. It was such a fast race and I was happy to be the only non-senior to have medaled against those guys.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
Being the WPIAL Champ my senior year because I was the first male Penn-Trafford athlete to win an Individual track event in school history. However being state runner-up is right up there too.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I would have liked to run more 400's and 1600's as well as compete in bigger invitationals. Our school only went to 2 invitationals a year which made it hard to run fast times when you only have limited chances.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Throughout my 4 years of high school I trained under 3 different coaches so there was never much consistency from year to year. Another obstacle was fracturing my left leg after the first dual meet of Junior year when I was coming off such a strong indoor season.

What will you miss the most?
Definitely traveling all the time with my parents. During indoor and club season they're the ones who take me everywhere and we have gotten some amazing opportunities to see the most incredible sights. That's just our thing, and we make weekends out of track meets and go sightseeing.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Never take a day in this sport for granted. My junior year when I was injured was one of the worst experiences of my life. What they say is true, you never know what you have until it's gone. When track was taken away from me I realized what a gift it was.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
My coaches have always been more than coaches to me. They have always given me their best and put together good plans for me and as a result I usually run my best in the championship races. Especially after I broke my leg junior season in high school. My club coaches put together a good plan to get me back into shape and as a result I was able to qualify for Junior Olympic Nationals.

What are your post-high school plans?
I will be joining the Big 10 Champs at Penn State University to further my athletic and academic career. I plan on studying business.

My whole club team at the Greensburg YMCA who helped me become the runner I am today. My Grandma who is my biggest fan and my parents who sacrificed more than I will ever know to get me to all the meets all over the US.