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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Farewell to a Legend

It’s all Fegans this week as we close the 2021-22 athletic year.

Nicole Fegans in her final home meet.
Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — I’ll keep things short and sweet in the intro, as there’s not much that comes to mind regarding observations and news besides the topics at hand today, which begin and end with Nicole Fegans’ accolades this week and more generally during her time at Tech. Without further adieu, on to the track.

Track and Field

The one and only Tech sporting event from the past week is the Jackets’ one entry at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, a near-total teardown and rebuild of the historic stadium into perhaps the finest track and field venue in the country. It seems fitting that this final week of Tech sports action is occupied solely by Nicole Fegans and her 5000m race. Fegans finished the race with a time of 16:05.64, good for 21st place in the event’s crowded field.

Of course, that being the only race of the weekend for Tech makes for a short update, but the reality is that one of Tech’s most talented athletes retired after an eventful half decade on the Flats, and the acknowledgement of such a well-decorated career cannot pass by without the recognition it is due. In her five years, Fegans represented Tech not only in track, but also cross country, and rather than being merely good at one or the other, she was exceptional at both sports, helping usher in a women’s cross country renaissance at Tech while shredding the record book in the track distance events. Tech’s 20th place finish at NCAAs in 2021 represents the school’s best-ever finish in cross country.

On an individual level, Fegans incinerated the track and field record book in both the indoor and outdoor distance events, holding the 1000m (I), 1500m (O), mile (I), 3000m (I), 5000m (I + O), and 10k (O), and the latter stands as the ACC Championship Meet record and represents one of her three wins at an ACC Championship event. Fegans also etched her name into history in two relays, as well, the indoor distance medley relay and the outdoor 4x1500m relay. All in all, the conference and nation rewarded her accordingly, racking up eight All-ACC honors to go with five All-American awards.

As we have noted previously in this space and in particular depth on the podcast, it is not often that the greatest of all time debate can be had, as that takes exceptional talent indeed, but Fegans is certainly deserving of that conversation. Even more rare is the ability to convincingly argue that across multiple sports, and that is definitely true here, as well.

While it is always a bittersweet moment to see a talented and hardworking athlete on and off the field reach the end of her collegiate career, it is certainly heartwarming to recall the tremendously impressive career that proceeds it. It is absolutely a time that calls for congratulations.

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Tech athletics will return in August with volleyball, cross country, and football. Until then, keep an eye on this space for alternative content.

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