Junior cross country star Nicole Feest is making lots of noise on the Mountain West Conference and national running scenes.
Feest has consistently led the women's team this season with top finishes and leadership. She has finished in the top 25 in each race she has run this season, including one top-10 finish.
Feest, a 21-year-old dietetics major, began to run competitively her freshman year of high school. She found a passion for running even though her family background didn't lead her into it.
"I come from a family that is not very athletic," Feest said. "They wanted me to be a dancer when I was little."
When she arrived at CSU and began to run on the college circuit, she discovered college running is a whole new world compared to high school.
"It's definitely better competition in college, and it's country-wide instead of just the state of your high school," Feest said.
Now that she's here and one of the top runners in the MWC, Feest has set her sights on some impressive goals. Her individual goal for her career is to be named an All-American. As for the team, she just wants to make nationals this season.
"I just want us to get to nationals and place higher than we were ranked this season," she said.
Feest and her boyfriend, senior Mike Nicks on the men's team, were both named MWC Runners of the Week on Sept. 29.
"Coach came over and told us that we had received the award and we were very surprised by the honor," Feest said.
Outside of making her mark in the MWC, Feest also likes to watch baseball in her spare time and is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. She was raised a Cubs fan in her hometown of Lombard, Ill., which is about 20 minutes outside Chicago. She loves the Cubs so much that if she could meet one celebrity she would choose Cubs manager Dusty Baker.
"I think he would be one of those guys that it would be fun just to sit and have a drink with and talk to," Feest said.
She also likes any kind of ice cream (she can't pick a favorite) and the "Kill Bill" movies volumes one and two. Feest also loves to groom her feet excessively.
"I just always have to keep my feet clean; it's kind of obsessive," Feest said.
Although cross country is one of the most successful sports at CSU, Feest feels like it hardly gets the recognition it deserves from CSU students and fans.
"We feel we have a very successful program here, and most people don't understand how hard it is to qualify for nationals in our sport," Feest said.
After taking 19th at the NCAA Regional meet on Saturday, Feest is awaiting word on whether she qualified for nationals.