When people mispronounce his last name, it's fine with Illiana Christian junior Nick Fiene.
For the record, it is pronounced "Feeney," but he is more concerned with the name "Illiana Christian" on his green and white running shirt.
Fiene had a fine performance last weekend as he finished fifth overall in the Class AA division at the First to The Finish race at Peoria's Detweiller Park. He helped the Vikings to a first-place finish.
"It was good race for us because we will see those teams, hopefully again at state," Fiene said. "We run well together as a team. Nick and Tony Wondaal, Kevin Vroegh, Colin DeYoung, we all know how important it is to try an (run as a) pack together and help each other out."
Fiene has not only helped his fellow runners out, but in the line of service, he has helped others. Through his church, The First Christian Reformed Church of Crown Point, he spent a part of his summer in Pella, Iowa working on several projects.
"We helped with the older people by working on their houses, like painting and fixing things," Fiene said. "We fixed things and you could tell it made them feel better."
The group also worked on a local YMCA, which included painting it and helping fix it up.
"It was fulfilling because you are there to help others who may not be as fortunate as us," Fiene said. "Your life is not all about yourself, it is about going and doing things for the Lord. he has blessed us and you have to give back."
Fiene has been successful on the course this year as he won the Crown Point Invitational and the Vikings won the Bishop McNamara Irish Conditioner earlier this season.
"Crown Point was really a good race because we got a chance to tun against hte bigger public schools from Indiana and they are great programs," Fiene said. "Bishop Mac, that is always a tough race, but we ran well that day."
He is hoping the success continues this morning and throughout the season. Last year, he was 38th overall at the Class 2A state meet (15:19) and his team was sixth.
"We are working hard and like I said, we have a great group of guys," Fiene said. "Coach (Jim) Piaskowy, is a great coach and he has us working hard. We would like another strong finish at state."