Panther roots fuel UNI cross country runner - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panther roots fuel UNI cross country runner

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

From the beginning, Allison Fick seemed destined to be a Panther. Her parents met at the University of Northern Iowa, where her dad ran Cross Country, and her mom was a member of the swim team.

With purple and gold already running through her blood, when it came time to choose where to continue her Cross Country career, Fick had little choice but to follow in her parent's footsteps. 

"As much as I would have denied my Senior year that I was going to follow in their paths, I definitely enjoyed being a Panther growing up; and looking to Panther athletics my Senior year was something I was definitely interested in," she said.

And UNI Cross Country coach Dan Steele knows that parental influence had to have helped in the recruiting process. 

"You know, they're both great, great alums, and we're really appreciative of them sticking around and being a part of so many activities we do here at UNI," he said.

Since she began blazing her own trail on the UNI campus, Fick has had her share of challenges to face; including keeping up her academic standards after being valedictorian of Iowa City West High School.

"It's definitely a struggle, but I think it makes you a better person in the end. Coach Steele always says, 'We're students first and athletes second', and that's really been my motto as I've gone through my undergrad here," Fick said.

And after three years in Cedar Falls, Fick is now being looked to as a leader for this UNI Cross Country team.

"Well she's a natural leader, she's somebody that younger kids naturally gravitate towards. If you've met her, you know how likeable she is, and she's the kind of person that you want to emulate, and you want to be like her," Coach Steele said.

"I definitely think we have some strong leaders on the team, and we'll all be working together to help everyone along," Fick said.

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