Niki Narayani: Why I Chose Vanderbilt

Webb senior Niki Narayani won't be traveling far from home for college.

After months of visiting schools and looking at the best option for her, Narayani found her answer in the Mid-State. She'll be joining the Vanderbilt Commodores next fall.

"I chose Vanderbilt because I truly felt it was the best fit for me," Narayani told us this week. "The decision process was extremely difficult, as all the programs I looked at had amazing academics and athletics, however it really came down to the gut feeling I had when I walked onto campus during my visit. I felt like Vanderbilt was the place I could call home for the next four years, and it had everything I was looking for."

She told us that the team camaraderie played a big role in her decision to join the Commodores. Narayani felt at home in Nashville, which ultimately made the decision.

The coaching and training philosophy also made a big difference. She was able to check those boxes too.

"I talked a lot with the coach before I was offered an official visit, and I felt really comfortable with them and the team," she said. "I loved that I got to spend most of my visit with the women, and I got to see what their real everyday lives are like as students and athletes."

Narayani hasn't decided on a major yet, but she's looking at going pre-med next year. 

She also took official visits to Duke and Yale.

At the end of the day, the team dynamic at Vanderbilt was too good to turn down. Coupled with an excellent academic environment, it was the right choice.

It felt like home.

"The most important factor was being able to enjoy both the academic environment and athletic environment at a college, while maintaining team camaraderie," Narayani said. "My current team is really close and being surrounded by amazing training partners every day is really important to me, I feel like it really contributes to overall success." 

This fall, Narayani led one of the fastest girls cross country teams in the state to a championship. No team averaged a faster time at the State Meet than Webb.

Her season best of 17:48 ranked her fourth in Tennessee this season. 

This upcoming spring, Narayani told us that she's just aiming to improve on her times from last year. And she'd like to win a state championship in the process too.