The hard work of training had finally paid off. Chris Giesting had made it to the semifinals.
His first year after graduating from Notre Dame, Chris Giesting dashed into his professional career in the 400m run. After training two-to-five hours a day — everyday! — his training has brought him far. From June 28 to July 2, he competed on a national scale at the 2016 US Team Track & Field Trials held in Eugene, Oregon. On July 1, he advanced from the first round into the semifinals, placing 15th with a time of 45.99 seconds in the Olympic Trials 400-meter dash.
“A guy who was disqualified was reinstated,” Giesting explained. “So [I] originally placed 10th, but when they reinstated him, I finished 11th”.
An Indiana native from Batesville, Giesting has been fulfilling his love of running since the sixth grade, although it was not until high school that he realized this was his true passion.
“My sophomore year of high school when I made it to the state meet for the first time … I was so excited and nervous, but I knew I wanted to keep running as long as possible after that meet,” Giesting said. From that moment forward, he would go on to break school records throughout his high-school career in the 100, 200, 400, 4×1, 4×4 and the 4×8.
A friend from the neighboring high school, Oldenburg Academy, Luke Owens, remembers his time spent on his school’s track team and what it was like to watch Giesting.
“I remember we ran cross country, and everyone looked to him … to win races. I remember the best nights were when they only put me in the longer events, and I could watch what he could do from the stands. People from all over knew by his junior year [of high school] that Batesville had something special,” said Owens.
During this time, Giesting would meet his future running partner, Patrick Feeney. They have been partners since their college careers at the University of Notre Dame and have both now made their way into the 2016 Track & Field Trials.
“He is from the Indy area, so we ran against each other in high school, college and now professionally, so we’ve had about probably 20 races together. Him and I are … a tenth of a second apart out of the top 28 mix,” Giesting said. They both train everyday with their coach from Notre Dame, Alan Turner, who is also an Indiana University All-American. All together, 11 school, individual and relay track and field records have been broken by his student-athletes.
Throughout Giesting’s college career, he has won Indoor 200, 400, 500, 600 and 4×4 school records. His advice for success?
Video credit: Adam Janeira
“I just have to make sure I am ready and sharp and focused. That is the difference maker here—everyone [running the 400m] is fit — just who can focus, dig deep and get it done,” Giesting said.
In the past year alone of his professional career, Giesting has taken third place in the World Indoor Champion in the 4×4 of all time and the won the Penn Relays USA v The World Champion in the 4×4. His professional is only beginning to unfold, as he will compete at the 2016 US Team Track & Field Trials held in Eugene, Oregon.
On Friday, July 1, Giesting ran the 400-meter dash in the Olympic Trial’s first round of preliminaries. He finished 15th with a time of 45.99 seconds. The following day, he proceeded into the semifinal race, finishing in 11th with a time of 45.84 seconds.
Although his placement in the semifinals did not qualify him to proceed into the finals, Giesting said, “I wanted to thank everyone that had been following me season and that has come out to cheer me on.
“When I finished, it was tough because I didn’t make the finals. But it was a great experience, am I’m really happy that I made it to the second day.”
Gabriella Harbridge is a Ball State University student and writer for Ball State at the Games, a group of 50 journalism students traveling from Muncie, Indiana., to Rio for the Olympic Games. Follow them at bsuatthegames.com, @bsuatthegames on Twitter and Instagram, and facebook.com/bsuatthegames on Facebook.