By Andy McDonald – Collegiate Staff
Nikki Gewirtz, a 20-year-old Lansing native, runs for the women’s cross country team at Grand Rapids Community College. She is a criminal justice major who hopes to work with juveniles to make a difference in their life.
“I strongly believe that everyone can be better if they have a strong support system,” Gewirtz said.
Gewirtz attended Owosso High School. She ran cross country and track, and also played basketball. Her freshman year of track is what got Gewirtz into the sport. She was a sprinter and accidentally missed her race.
Her punishment was that she had to run the two mile race. To the surprise of her and her coach she ran it in a decent time and has enjoyed distance running ever since.
Years later came the highlight of Gewirtz’s career. On her last race as a senior in high school, Gewirtz was running in the 200-meter race, and her coach was yelling at her to finish strong, really convincing her that she had to push through it.
She ended up with her best personal record that was just a little over a minute.
“I’ve never been so proud of myself, those were great memories,” Gewirtz said.
She called becoming captain her senior year “an awesome experience.”
Without her cross country team here at GRCC, it wouldn’t have been nearly as easy a move for her. Gewirtz said she is proud of her teammates because they all make her better.
“Cross country isn’t like any sport, you are family and there is no judgement,” Gewirtz said.