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Nick Fiene, a sophomore transfer from Olivet Nazarene Uni­versity, is a pre-med, bio­chem­istry major from St. John, Indiana. He com­petes on both the cross country and track and field teams. (PHOTO: Hillsdale Ath­letics / Courtesy)

How is your first season going as a charger?

It’s going well. There has been a lot of change in the whole program. We had a coaching change, which is new this year. But as far as me, I think it is going really well. The tran­sition has been pretty seamless because I have a couple really good friends on the team who I knew before even coming here. They were my team­mates in high school so I have been running with them for a couple years now. So as far as my tran­sition and my first year of running here, it’s been pretty good, I’d say.

What is your cross country back­ground? 

My first year running cross country was my sophomore year of high school, so this will be my fourth year com­peting.

What’s your favorite part about running? What got you into running?

What got me into running was my high school program. They were just really good and would con­sis­tently go to state, and that was really appealing to me, so I joined and just had a lot of fun with it. My favorite part of running is that it’s a sport that you really get out what you put in. So however much hard work you put into it, you’ll get that hard work out in fast times and state tro­phies.

What are your hopes for this season and the seasons to come?

As far as the team goes, we are hoping to make it to nationals and even be top 10 in nationals. For the seasons to come, I’d just say to start that tra­dition now and con­tinue it on for years to come and make it be a regular thing for the men’s team to make it to nationals and compete well in nationals.

Any per­sonal records you’d like to break?

My first year wasn’t that great at Olivet, so I def­i­nitely would like to have a better cross country season overall. At the end of the season, I would really like to break 25 minutes in the 8K.

What does your day-to-day training look like?

It varies as the week goes. A workout day will look like a morning lift session at 7 a.m., and then a morning run of four to five miles. In the afternoon, go out and warm up three miles, have a stretching and dynamic warmup, and then usually we have some form of long tempo of about seven to nine miles. Usually, we use that as a cut down, where we start at around a 4:50 pace and bring it down to a 5:25 – 5:30 pace at the end, then have a two to three mile cool down.

Tell us about the national rankings.

At the beginning of the year, we weren’t even ranked. We just got ranked No. 11 nationally. I guess we are on the up and up. It def­i­nitely gets us pumped up and excited for our goals and what we can do at the end of the season. At the same time, we have to know that rankings change on a weekly basis.We can let it get to our heads — just keep working hard and con­tinue to compete well at the meets.

What brought you to Hillsdale?

First off, Hillsdale’s pre-med program. That was the number one thing for me in my transfer, as well as the running program. Coach Joe was a big advocate to help get me here and just the success of the women and men’s running pro­grams in the past couple years was really exciting to me.