Nathan Henderson has accomplished the championship mountain at every level of Track and Field. From becoming a state champion his Senior Year of High School to helping his Syracuse squad win an ACC Title, this young man has done it all and he wants more. Just this past week he broke the 4 minute mile barrier at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University, one of the fastest times in school history! Henderson, who won the PIAA state championship in the 3,200 meter race (two miles) back in 2017 out of McCaskey High School is not done yet. He has loftier goals in mind not just on the track, he stopped by to discuss that and his experiences at McCaskey and Syracuse:
Carl Frederick: In regards to your last race, what was your mindset? Did you have a goal of breaking a 4 minute mile?
Nathan Henderson: The sub 4 mile is probably a dream of a lot of distance runners. From the time I learned about it was something that seemed to be almost a tall tale, and near impossible to achieve. And as a distance runner it has always been a dream of mine. Covid really messed up a lot of things in regard to training and running in fast enough meets to PR for the past two years. I ran 4:00.5 back in 2020 before the pandemic really took hold on the world, and shut everything down. 2020 was the last year that I raced a mile in college. Ever since then I knew it was something that I could achieve, and I really used that to motivate me throughout the past two years. My teammates and I have been putting in a lot of good training, so I felt like I could do it. And having a training partner to race alongside really helped push me through the end.
CF: When did you know that you had a special talent in Track and Field?
NH: It’s kinda hard to really tell when I noticed I had a special talent. I guess you could say that In middle school I realized that I had a lot of endurance, and I felt comfortable at holding a steady pace for a while. I guess when I won my first LL league cross country title back in high school is when I realized it was something I could actually put to use, and carry me into college.
CF: What has been the biggest adjustment you have gone through from McCaskey High School to Syracuse University?
NH: The biggest adjustment I'd have to say was trying to find a way to balance living away from my family, going to school, and training at a higher level. When you're living with your parents you really don't know how easy you have it until you have to do everything on your own. Finding a way to manage time wisely by myself was difficult.
CF: You're currently working on your second degree? What are your plans for life after college?
NH: I plan on going to grad school for forensics, but after that I want to attempt to run professionally. But if that doesn't play out, I want to work in a Lab or as a crime scene investigator.
CF: Finally give us any of your fondest memories of your time at McCaskey and Syracuse?
NH: Looking back at life at McCaskey I'll probably have to say just running with the team and being with them in general. Having conversations with teammates on a run can really make training go by faster, and makes it feel a lot easier. In Syracuse I'll probably have to say winning an ACC title with them. It really showed that the work we put in paid off, and that we showed the doubters what we could really do.
Speaking with Nathan and those who have coached him know he is a humble young man who has always had a team first approach. When I would contact my father to discuss his meet, he raved about his attitude and how much of a joy he was to work with. Many coaches will tell you talent and humbled do not always mix well, for this young man it does!