In high school his interest in working on cars and motorcycles became an all-consuming passion, so he enrolled to study auto mechanics at UTI (Universal Technical Institute) in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from there in December, 2001.
Nik graduated from Ygnacio Valley High School in June 2000. He capped a stellar high school career with 10 varsity letters, including 3 in cross-country (all-BVAL, 1st-Team), 3 in soccer, and 4 in volleyball (all-BVAL, 2nd-Team). But up until 3 weeks before graduation, it was still unclear whether the administration would actually let him graduate -- they seemed to think he hadn't completed enough courses in Physical Education! He got a lesson in bureaucrats and their rules.
Nik finished his final high school cross-country season in remarkable fashion. A grueling schedule was loaded with invitational tournaments, in which they did quite well. In the Bay Valley Athletic League finals, Ygnacio Valley finished a close 2nd, placing an astonishing four runners in the first six in the league. Nik's 5th-place finish earned him 1st-Team All-League honors. In the North Coast Section Championships, Ygnacio Valley dominated the Division I final, placing four runners in the first nine and winning the Division I title easily. then it was off to respectable showings at the State Championships and Far Western Regionals, where Nik placed an impressive 25th place individually.
He also completed three years as goalkeeper for the varsity soccer team, and four years of high school volleyball, earning 2nd-Team All-League honors.
Posted by Dan 01/20/2003