The starting blocks is where it all begins and where it counts for Huntington Woods native Nicole Meisner. “You have to have a good start. Because if you don’t have a good start … you get beat at the line.” she said.

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Meisner hopes to have an explosive start when she competes on the other side of the world, in the 19th Annual Maccabiah Games this month in Israel.

According to Meisner, it’s known as the Jewish Olympics and is the third largest sporting event in the world.

As the top sprinter at University of Detroit Mercy, It’s Nicole Meisner’s second trip to the Israeli games, where athletes from around the world compete every four years.

She last competed at the Junior’s Level. This time, she’s stepping it up, as the only sprinter from Michigan heading to these games.

“It’s very competitive, but I like it. That’s what makes it so much fun.”

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She’s fast, holding the second fastest times in history in the 60 meter and 100 Meter Dash for the Titans. The top 5 all time in the 200.

It’s one thing to excel on the local level, which Nicole has done. Another thing to do well on the national stage. But to win in the international arena takes something special. Her coach, Tiberia Patterson, saw it in Meisner many years ago. “Her biggest strength is her attitude. She has a sprinter’s attitude,” he said.

Patterson is a U-S Track Champion, training Nicole since she was in eight grade. He pushes her, six days a week, rain or shine. He says some days are harder than others, but knows the work is not in vain.

“If we’re doing a workout and I see it might be a little bit too easy for her — I might try to ramp it up a little bit. She doesn’t appreciate that too much.”

The immediacy of competition is all-encompassing for Nicole Meisner, but win or lose, she has her sights set far beyond the Israeli games.

She plans to segue her athletic discipline into a career with the FBI. “I’m in a master’s program for intelligence analysis so I’m going to do an extra year of school and get my master’s and then hopefully I’ll go to the FBI Academy,” she said.

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But for now she’s focused on Israel. Meisner said, “That’s the goal — to bring back at least one gold medal.”