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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Commencement 2012 - The finish line nears for URI track & field standout Nicholas Guscott

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 7, 2012 – An academic false start may have slowed Nicholas Guscott’s college career, but it has not stopped this sprinter from finishing his race to graduate and continue his road to more championships and success.

A native of Baldwin, N.Y., Guscott’s passion for sprinting and track and field sprouted through a sport that’s immensely popular in his Jamaican roots - soccer.

“I started out playing soccer, and my high school coach commended me for my speed and suggested I should also do track and field, so I did,” Guscott said.

He learned quickly that he was born and bred to run track. His outstanding high school times led him to the University of Rhode Island’s track and field team where he helped the team win three Atlantic-10 championships.

“I was in the college selection process and wanted to choose a good school with a good track reputation,” Guscott said. “A friend of the family suggested John Copeland as a very good coach who would help develop me into a better athlete and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to URI!’ It all worked out for me as soon as I met the staff, team, and saw the school’s wonderful campus. I was positive about coming to URI.”

Throughout Guscott’s four years at URI, he has been a key part of the men’s track and field team specializing in the 55m, 60m, 100m, and 200m dashes along with the 4x100m relay. His biggest achievements were winning the URI Sorlien Invitational 55m dash and placing second at the A-10 Championships in the same race. As he prepares to graduate, he is aiming for a fourth-straight A-10 Championship this summer.

Although his achievements on the track have been noteworthy, Guscott’s true determination can be seen in his will to succeed in the classroom. A rough freshman year put Guscott in a hole that he has been digging himself out of ever since, and he is eager to finish strong.

“Dealing with grades, my freshman year wasn’t hopeful, but things are shaping up now,” said Guscott. “Since I’ve been here at URI it has been a large part of who I’ve become. Coming in struggling with school, I’ve grown up and become responsible in the classroom. It’s been one big collective growing process for me as an individual.”

Guscott’s development as a student, athlete, and person did not go unnoticed by his coach, John Copeland.

“Graduating this spring, not only will I thank Copeland for giving me the opportunity to be here, but he has been the backbone of leading me to be a successful person,” said Guscott. “Even though he makes it clear and tells us, ‘I’m not your mother!’ he does a great job in looking out for my teammates and I and being like a parent from home in my eyes.”

“One of the best things about coaching these guys is that they come in as young boys and leave as young men,” said Copeland. “Nick fits right in to that role. One of the most impossible things to do is coach an athlete that has no goals. Nick has goals for his life, academic life, and it shows how he has matured as in individual.”

Copeland credits Guscott’s family for the support they have given him. “He gets lots of support from his folks, that’s positive to see. They were supportive and helped him through his struggles thus leading him to where he is today.”

The future looks promising for Guscott. He has aspirations to continue running track for a local track and field club in New York after graduating, and he would like to compete on the professional scale. “I will push myself towards that,” said Guscott.

He is also pondering graduate school and a career in the advertising field.

A true athlete who will never be forgotten for his undying supportive cheers towards his fellow teammates during every event at championships, Guscott recollects the opportunity and memories he has had at URI. “I want to thank the entire institution for not only being a great place, but for helping me grow as a man. It’s been pleasant from start to finish.”


This news release was written by Franco Lo Presti, a public relations major and intern in the URI Department of Communications & Marketing.

Commencement Information




URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography.