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Track and Field: Rivals-turned-roommates lead Notre Dame

Laura Coletti | Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chris Giesting and Patrick Feeney haven’t always been roommates. In fact, the two haven’t even always been friends. On the contrary, they grew up competing against each other at rival high schools in central Indiana just over an hour apart.

Now, the sophomore and junior sprinters share a room in Knott Hall. They also share a competitive fire and a load of talent on the track for the Irish.

“When I came to Notre Dame, Pat and I knew of each other from high school because we were always competing against each other,” Giesting said. “Now we get along really well. We cheer for each other at meets and push each other during practice.”

When Giesting arrived as a freshman last year, he looked to Feeney to help show him the ropes and make the adjustment from high school to college competition.

“We have a great relationship for being as competitive as we are,” Giesting said. “He’s a year older than me and he really helped me get started. He kind of showed me how I need to practice and how I need to train.”

Giesting and Feeney collected a number of individual accolades during the 2012 season, and were each part of team victories as well. Giesting was a part of the distance medley relay team that won the indoor NCAA National Championship, and Feeney went to the outdoor NCAA Championships as a part of the 4x400m squad.

As for how they stack up against each other, Giesting said that the duo tries to keep track of how many times they have beaten each other.

“It’s pretty even,” he said, “But Pat might have a slight edge.”
Giesting burst onto the scene last year when he garnered the Big East Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after his very first collegiate meet. This season, he has stayed true to form, earning the award once again for his performance at the Notre Dame Invitational. Over the weekend, Giesting won the 200m dash with a time of 21.69, the 500m in 1:03.17, and ran the second leg for the 4x400m relay team that won in 3:12.68.

“To be recognized by the conference for being one of the best performances of the week is a pretty big accomplishment because there are so many athletes on the track,” Giesting said.
“Last year, I didn’t even know that the award existed. This ye
ar, I had been there and I knew I could get back.”

Giesting learned a lot from his freshman year, and would like to see his sophomore campaign be even more successful. He would be happy to experience that success with his roommate.

“Our number one goal for the team is to win both indoor and outdoor conference titles,” Giesting said. “Qualifying for the National Indoor 400m race would be great. Last year, both me and Pat just missed qualifying. So it would be nice for us both to get there.”

Giesting, Feeney and the rest of the Irish will travel to Bloomington, Ind. for the Indiana Relays this weekend.

Contact Laura Coletti at
lcoletti@nd.edu