Robert Nickerson, 16, senior, Darrington High School

Jujitsu anyone? One of the country’s best teenage competitors in Brazilian jujitsu. Competed in California last weekend at U.S. Open in the sport that places a large emphasis on ground fighting and grappling.

Puts up a fight: Also enjoys “ultimate fighting,” a no-holds-barred sport that combines several disciplines, such as wrestling, boxing and Brazilian jujitsu. Knows when and where to practice. “I have never had a fight outside of the sport. I try to talk through problems.”

Sharp young mind: Set to graduate at age 16 with a grade point above 3.8. Schedule includes physics and calculus. “I really love math. Math is my favorite subject. I just like looking at and working with numbers.”

Finding a balance: Trains two nights a week at a Seattle Brazilian jujitsu academy and other days at home. Does homework before and afterward, sometimes after midnight.

Future plans: Will apply to University of Washington with a goal of majoring in computer science. Also interested in studying sports medicine and massage.

Training others: Taught self-defense course last summer to children and adults in Darrington. Has helped train soldiers from Fort Lewis under the direction of his Brazilian jujitsu academy.

Loving the Led: Plays electric guitar. Favorite song to play is Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.”

Country living: Loves growing up in Darrington, particularly swimming and floating the rivers during the summer. He and a friend also make a “polar bear” dip into the icy river each winter. “It’s great living up here. It’s peaceful. I don’t have to worry about the hustle and bustle. It reflects who I am.”

Perceptions on Darrington: “I don’t think people realize how nonhick we really are.”

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