Friends' Nisbet - Delaware SportsZone Athlete of the Week
By Sean Greene Friday, October 21, 2016 - 4:58pm
VIDEO: Sean Greene speaks with Connor Nisbet
Sometimes, athletes find a sport, and sometimes, a sport finds them. Both might be the case for Friends' Connor Nisbet, this week's Delaware SportsZone Athlete of the Week.
Nisbet, rated as one of the top-ranked junior tennis players in Delaware, claimed the Cross Country title at the Joe O'Neill Invitational last Friday.
Connor started playing tennis at a young age, but in an effort to cross-train for the long matches on the tennis court, he started joining his father for runs.
"I didn't love it, but I trusted my dad. I stuck around with it, and--after a year--I started enjoying running a little bit more, and it just continued to blossom. I began to love it, and was good at it, too."
Quite good: His 15:37 time for the 3.1 miles at Bellevue State Park set the sophomore class record by 19 seconds. It was an effort that startled him as he pulled away from Salesianum's George Steinhoff in the final half-mile.
"I was so surprised with how well I could kick, I've never kicked so hard in my life. It was great to see the training really kick in."
While he has to be seen as one of the favorites to win the New Castle County and DIAA Division II Championships next month, Connor is getting the job done with the tennis racquet as well.
Last month, Connor won the Ursinus College Fall Junior Open, claiming the title by winning 6 of his 7 sets.
While both high school cross-country and tennis have team components, they're also heavily individual sports, which Connor says fits his personality.
"I've thought of myself, as a person, as a little more naturalistic, so I think it fits my personality and my game style as an athlete."
As for gameplans in the two sports, he said he uses technology to plan a form of attack.
"I sometimes go on (running enthusiasts' website) MileSplit to see what my opponents will likely run, so I can set a game plan off of that."
At this point, and for the foreseeable future, there's no sign of Connor slowing down in either sport.
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