March 3, 2014
Junior sprinter Chris Giesting placed first in the 400m dash and second in the 200m at the ACC Championship last weekend, earning 18 points for the Irish and helping his team to its third-place finish. These performances earned him the honor of being named the championship’s track Most Valuable Performer.
Lauren Chval (Notre Dame Media Relations): What does the honor of being named track MVP at the ACC Championship mean both to you and to your team?
Chris Giesting (Track and Field Junior Sprinter): I was really surprised because we had lots of great performances not only from our team but from other teams as well. J.P. [Malette] performed well. Coming in, a lot of teams didn’t think Notre Dame deserved to be up at the top of the ACC. We all came in and wanted to show the program we have here. I was just really happy to get this honor for our program and it shows how well we do at conference level, and when it comes to conference time we actually compete with the best of them.
LC: You and Pat Feeney both won your heats in the finals of the men’s 400m dash, with you placing first and him placing second. How does it help to compete in this individual sport with teammates?
CG: It was nice to see him go first. They had the two-section final there, and he ran section one and just blew it out of the water. He converted his time to sixth in the country after that race, so I knew I had to run well. I was excited to watch him run that and happy for him, and then I just thought it was my turn to try to beat that. We wanted to finish one and two and surprise everybody because we weren’t the favorites. There was a guy from Pittsburgh, and Florida State was the favorite team, so me and Pat getting one two was huge, and I think that really boosted team morale. After that point, we were all excited and trying to keep the momentum rolling.
Now you have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Championships, so how will you and the team approach that and what are you looking forward to?
CG: It is really nice this year that they changed when the NCAA meet is so that we have a week off instead of having a last chance meet like they threw in after conference last year. We are going to hit it hard this week in practice and get a rest this weekend, which is really nice after trying to compete in double and triple events at the ACCs. We’ll take the break this weekend and refocus, and then over spring break we will travel to New Mexico. Last year, Pat and I were fortunate to be All-Americans in the 400, so we are going to go back with the same mentality and hopefully improve on our finish. This year, we have the 4x400 to qualify, and that has been one of our goals since we came here.