Trubachik lands in Portland State's Hall of Fame
Before Nick Trubachik became a nationally renowned track star, he was just a rambunctious little kid growing up in Estacada.
"I had a lot of energy as a little kid, growing up on a farm. I couldn't sit in one spot for a long period of time, so my parents got me into track when I was in third grade," Trubachik said.
That decision would propel Trubachik to an illustrious high school (Estacada) and college career (Portland State). While Trubachik excelled in the multiple events he did in high school, throwing the javelin was where he shined the most.
"As an athlete, (Trubachik) was quite the specimen. You could see that he had a ton of potential," Estacada head coach Jon Erickson said. "He was successful in any event we put him in, but we had him start to hone in on his javelin skills his junior year."
From the get-go, Trubachik and teammate Ray Rozell established themselves as the two best javelin throwers in the 3A classification.
"Every single meet, me and Ray would finish one and two. We really pushed one another and we brought the best out of each other," Trubachik said. "At meets, we would just let it loose and see who would come out on top."
At the 2005 state meet, Rozell just edged out Trubachik to win the javelin state title with Trubachik finishing a close second. Both guys played big roles in Estacada's 2005 team state championship.
Trubachik would get his revenge on his friend and teammate the next season, winning the 2006 3A javelin title with a throw of 192-feet-9-inches.
"Watching those guys compete against each other for two years in a row was special. It brought tons of excitement to our program," Erickson said.
After winning a state title, Trubachik continued his athletic career at Portland State, where the work load would be a bit of a wake-up call for him.
"It was definitely a transition. Nothing could have prepared me for what college training was like. The expectations were much greater and more challenging, but I loved every minute of it," Trubachik said. "It made me who I am today."
While the javelin was his speciality, Trubachik decided to pursue competing in the decathlon when he got to college.
"People would ask me all the time what my favorite event was. The truth is, every event has something that I love about it. They all give you something to work on," Trubachik said. "Doing the decathlon just kind of made sense."
After the 2007 season, Trubachik's decathlon teammate, Seth Henson, became the multi-events coach at Portland State, with Trubachik being one of his main projects.
"Nick was very good at setting goals for himself and his goal was to be an All-American. You had a kid who could hammer the jav, but could also high jump really well and had some decent foot speed," Henson said. "Nick was good at developing his foot speed over time. He got better at every event over his career and he stayed relatively healthy, which was huge for his ability to consistently train."
With Henson as his coach, the accomplishments would start rolling in for Trubachik. He would go onto to be the Big Sky Conference outdoor champion in the decathlon in 2008 and 2010. Trubachik would also win back-to-back heptathlon championships at the Big Sky Indoor Championships in 2009 and 2010.
Trubachik was named the Big Sky's Outdoor Championship Field Athlete of the Meet in 2010 with his score of 7,390 — which nearly broke the all-time championship mark of 7,477 points —qualifying him for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
At the 2010 NCAA Championships, Trubachik rallied to a seventh-place finish and a score of 7,510 — a school record for Portland State — to earn All-American honors and the right to compete at the USA Track & Field Championships, where he finished eighth with a score of 7,434.
"I couldn't imagine when I was younger the amount of success I would end up having. I am just a competitive person. I love competing against other people," Trubachik said. "Coach Henson was an instrumental part of my success. He spent a ton of time with me setting goals and helping me be where I wanted."
As it turns out, Henson was just as grateful to work with Trubachik. After spending six years with the Portland State coaching staff, Henson got a job at the University of Texas as their multi-events and jumps coach. He gives Trubachik a lot of credit to where he is at now.
"We had a great player-coach relationship and we communicated with each other really well. I was a young coach, but Nick put his full trust in me and it ended up opening doors for my coaching career," Henson said. "Nick continues to be a great friend of mine to this day."
While Trubachik's ability as an athlete was easily recognizable, he is also thought of quite fondly for how he was as a teammate and friend.
"It was a blessing to have Nick as a teammate. He pushed me to be better and he always helped me prepare for my meets...He was a unique character that was quirky and fun-loving. He just made stuff more enjoyable," Trubichik's former PSU teammate Vince Kinney said. "Nick's a great guy to have in my life. He's always been there for me."
Trubachik spent the 2011-12 season as a volunteer assistant coach at PSU while he was finishing his health sciences degree, which was one of the many things that he did after college. He also competed at the U23 Championships and finished second with 7,497 points earlier in 2011. Trubachik went on to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials, but after missing the cut for Team USA, Trubachik decided to call it a career.
"I just felt like it was time to move on and try other things," Trubachik said. "I wanted to give back to the community."
Trubachik spent time at Multnomah Athletic Club as a trainer and instructor. He was also the head strength coach at St. Mary's Academy and coached competitive youth soccer. In 2016, Trubachik was elected to the Portland State Hall of Fame, with the distinction of being Portland State's first-ever, NCAA Division I All-American. He was also the first male track & field athlete to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor National Championships.
"It was something that I honestly didn't expect. Being inducted with all those tremendous athletes and people was a very humbling moment," Trubachik said. "It was an amazing experience."
In late April of this year, Trubachik decided to quit his jobs after getting an opportunity through Worldwide Organization of Organic Farming to travel the world with his girlfriend, teaching yoga at various locations.
According to their website, WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.
Trubachik has been living in Lincoln City the last couple months preparing for the trip of a lifetime later this month. He will start in Iceland and Ireland, then continue to France in the first phase of his journey, which is planned to last at least two years.
"This was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. This is something me and my partner are really excited for," Trubachik said.