His desire to learn and his competitiveness are what drive senior Nick Happe, the 2012 Pac-12 Cross-Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
“I really just enjoy the learning process and there’s a lot of classes I’m interested in,” Happe said.
Happe, a finance major at the W.P. Carey School of Business, sports a 4.09 cumulative GPA and is planning on applying for law school sometime soon.
Not only has Happe excelled in the classroom, but he is also one of the best and most competitive runners in the Pac-12, coach Louie Quintana said.
Throughout the year, the Pac-12 awards 21 other recipients from all different sports. The conference honors players who have shown both academic and athletic excellence.
Last Saturday, Happe placed 11th overall in the Pac-12 Championships, earning him second-team All-Pac-12 honors.
“I just really like competing,” Happe said. “I’m a really competitive person and I feel like cross-country and track are really perfect avenues to get that one-on-one competition. (Running is) more than a team sport, it’s an individual sport as well.”
Quintana sees that Happe’s willingness to learn and his competitive nature go hand-in-hand. Whether it be running extra miles or taking the LSATs multiple times, Quintana said Happe strives to be successful at everything he does by constantly having a strong work ethic.
“He is a really high-achiever,” Quintana said. “He is driven by success. He has an amazing capacity for work.”
Quintana also said Happe has increased his training regimen every single year.
Happe paced the Sun Devils in their three biggest meets last season — the Wisconsin Invitational, Pac-12 championships and NCAA West Regionals.
Regardless of the academic recognition, Happe said he has great interest in what he is learning, which is a huge part of his academic success.
“Me getting a degree or not, it’s all stuff that interests me and that I would like to learn about,” Happe said.
Happe also works at First Western Trust in Scottsdale, which he said is geared toward high-end net worth individuals. He said it has given him more knowledge in wealth management and additional hands-on experience that will help him in future career paths.
Academically, he said his goal is to always stay above a 4.0 GPA. He also wants to start sending out applications and get accepted into a prestigious law school.
As for the cross-country season, which is nearing its end, he said he hopes his team can qualify for the NCAA championships, run well there and that he can become an All-American.
Some lofty goals for a college senior.
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