Hereford High's Mike Nash is North County News Male Athlete of the Year

Mike Nash couldn’t have scripted a more perfect ending to his prep career in track and field.

Nash won Baltimore County, regional and state championships in shot put and discus.

The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Nash also had a major impact on the offensive and defensive line for the Hereford football team and earned the selection as the North County News Male Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

“He’s the best thrower we’ve had in the county in a long time,” Hereford track and field coach Brad Duvall said.

At the Penn Relays in late April, Nash tossed the longest shot put of his career.

His throw of 60-feet, 4.75 inches placed him sixth out of 22 competitors in the high school boys’ event and it also set a new Hereford High school record, breaking the old mark set in 1965.

Nash was seeded 21st in the event, but was pumped up by the atmosphere.

“There are at least 500 people watching on the top of the hill and you are in the finals and throwing against guys that throw 21 meters (68-feet, 10 inches), which is ridiculous,” said Nash, who was impressive in more than his longest throw. “At Penn Relays I actually had four throws over 60-feet, which is amazing.”

In nine shot put events and nine discus events in meets in Maryland during the outdoor season, Nash was undefeated.

“It was pretty much a goal for me,” Nash said. “Shot put, I pretty much knew I had locked up, but discus is something I wanted to improve on this year a lot.”

He improved in both events by increasing the volume of throws during practice and working harder on the weekends.

After winning county and regional titles in both events, he won the shot put in the Class 2A state meet at Morgan State University with a throw of 57-feet, 10 inches.

He also won discus with a personal-record throw of 160-feet, 11 inches.

In shot put, Nash won county, regional and state titles as a junior during the outdoor season.

Indoors, as a senior, Nash won county, regional and state titles. That included a personal-best throw of 57-feet, 2 inches at the Class 2A Central Region championships.

In his career, he won five state titles, 10 regional championships and six county crowns combined in the two events.

His season didn’t end at the state meet. He went to North Carolina and competed in the New Balance Nationals in mid-June and placed 19th in shot put.

“He had a huge outdoor season,” Duvall said. “Discus had always been a weaker event for him and for him to be able to win both and be undefeated in both throughout the state for the whole year is just incredible.”

He plans to major in civil engineering at the University of Maryland next year and hopes to throw both shot put and discus.

“Whatever they have me do I will do it, but I think they are leaning more toward the shot and the discus,” Nash said.

He won’t be on the football field anymore after being a three-year, two-way starter on the offensive line for the Bulls, but he won’t be far away.

“I miss football a lot,” he said. “At Maryland, I’ll only be an hour away from home, so I’ll probably go to the games when I’m home to recollect.”

Coach Ric Evans will certainly miss the two-time All-County first team lineman.

“He was phenomenal, a two-way starter and captain,” Evans said. “He was just a great leader for us and well-respected by his teammates and opponents.”

Nash was selected for the Maryland Super 22 all-star team and nominated to play in the Baltimore County senior all-star game, but was unable to play because of his track commitment.

As a nose guard on defense, he led the team with double-digit sacks and double-digit tackles for a loss of yards.

He was also a leader off the gridiron.

“His work ethic in the weight room, which really goes unnoticed by a lot of people, he set the example there for the younger kids,” Evans said. “His work ethic in the weight room was bar none, above anybody else’s.”

College football coaches stil pursued him into his senior year.

“We knew the direction he was going to go so college coaches just kind of tailed off,” Evans said. “I would say, ‘you could try, but he’s got track in his heart.’ “

Nash, whose brother Chris was a Baltimore County indoor champion in shot put in his senior year of 2010 at Hereford, was his inspiration for trying out for the track team.

Mike Nash blossomed in his first indoor season throwing shot put in 2014 and never looked back.

“After freshman year when I got sixth in the states indoors, I said, ‘I’m pretty good at this,’ ” he said.

And he just kept getting better and better.

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
77°