MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nick and Mike Hutton are both having outstanding track seasons at a pair of Twin Cities colleges. The middle distance runners are both enjoying their success and supporting each other as only brothers can do.
Nick and Mike Hutton celebrated a state high school soccer title together at Apple Valley before the twins went separate ways for their college athletic careers.
“I was a big soccer guy in high school and turned into a track nerd and went that route. I talked him into it and he gets addicted to the same stuff,” Nick Hutton said.
Nick went to the University of Minnesota where he’s now enjoying success on the track after transitioning from the 800 to the 1500 meters.
“Nick has had a little bit of a distance background and we wanted to try him in the 1,500. Right away he came in and ran just over a four minute pace for the mile. We definitely think in the future he could be a sub four minute miler,” said Gophers track coach Steve Plasencia.
“It’s definitely a goal I’ve got is that I want to break four minutes in the mile. It’s a pretty recognizable goal that a lot of people have. Everyone in track asks me about the mile and that’s a goal I have,” Nick said.
Meanwhile, Mike is a two-sport star at St. Thomas, excelling in soccer as a four-time All-MIAC player and continued his winning ways on the track. He won the Division III 800-meter indoor title in March and was a runner-up recently in the race at the prestigious Drake Relays.
“It was a cool experience. To go out there and get second, I was a little bitter to not get first obviously but it was cool to stick your neck out there with all the Division I guys,” Mike said.
“He’s hugely talented and that really helps. He’s an unbelievable competitor so when you put him in challenging opportunities, he rises to the occasion as well as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said St. Thomas track coach Pete Wareham.
The brotherly bond has helped out both runners when they’re competing.
“We definitely compare and support each other and we talk about our race strategies all the time,” Mike said. “It’s good to come from two different perspectives and I think it helps both of us.”
Even though he’s a “Tommie,” Mike has spent time on the University of Minnesota campus over the past four years participating in the Marine ROTC program getting ready for his post-college career, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines.
“Certainly just the physical aspect of it you try to stay in shape as an athlete. It’s a huge part of being a marine and just with track, you’re always trying to push the limits and push yourself. Our coaches always say a workout isn’t a workout until it gets tough. Regardless of the marines or anything, it really builds in life,” Mike said.
Nick’s a redshirt junior and has one season left. He’ll be competing in the NCAA Division I preliminaries later this month in Texas. Mike’s final collegiate race will be in the NCAA Division III Championships next week in California. We asked the brothers who would win if they raced each other?
“I’m certainly the underdog being at St. Thomas. Personally I think I have more drive from the marines than maybe him,” Mike said.
“I would definitely say he’s the underdog for a reason. My best times from last year are still a little ways out for him. I think I’ve got him,” Nick said.