It has become the norm for Ashland University track and field athletes to continue competing when their college days are finished.
Now, distance runner and 2017 graduate Nick Hall is joining that list by converting himself into a triathlete.
Hall checked in to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday (July 7) for the USA Triathlon College Recruitment Program (CRP) Camp. He, along with just eight other invitees, will be at the camp until Sunday (July 16).
According to teamusa.org, CRP assesses talent via college personal records, history and testing protocol. Athletes who meet the standards are taken through the processes and skills needed to become an elite triathlete, streamlining and professionalizing the athlete's growth in triathlon, with the goal of finding Olympic medalists.
"This is one of the most amazing opportunities," Hall said. "I hope to leave this camp with a mind full of incredible experiences, knowledge and growth from being in an elite environment with like-minded individuals and coaches."
In October, Hall contacted the camp's recruiter with interest in becoming a triathlete. After keeping up with his progress through the 2016-17 cross country and track and field seasons, the recruiter sent him an official invite.
During his time at Ashland, Hall earned All-American status five times. He placed 19th and 16th at the national cross country meets in 2014 and 2016, respectively. In indoor track and field, he was a part of two All-American distance medley relay teams, and he placed fifth in the mile in 2017.
"My athletic potential is no where near reached," he said, "so I look at this new sport as a big challenge."
If Hall meets the swimming, biking and running qualifications, he could be stationed full-time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs or Scottsdale, Ariz., to train for specific races. And if he does well in those races, he'll earn his USAT elite license, which makes him a professional triathlete.
In turn, Hall hopes his journey will inspire the idea of starting a triathlon club at AU.
"Triathlon is such a unique sport that I feel isn't present or available at a lot of universities," Hall said. "I'm thrilled for the future of Ashland and for my future in this sport."