At Ambrose there are few things that we can rely on, but you can always guarantee that there will never be a close parking space; there will never be a snow day; and Dean Knieps, sophomore track runner, will be wearing his orange Bears baseball cap.
In fact, Kneips, nicknamed Nips, has been wearing it every day for almost two years. It has never been washed in those two years.
“It says dry-clean only, and I don’t trust the dry cleaners,” Knieps said.
The only time he takes it off is when he is representing the Fighting Bees on the track in the mile, open 800, and the 4×800 meter relay.
When he is on the track, he sings to himself. The song that brought him a conference record in the 4×800 meter relay was none other than “Love Shack” by the B52s. Singing helps him take his mind off the nerves. To dull the pain he has a philosophy of his own too.
“I’ve gone through 15 minutes of hell before, this isn’t that bad,” Knieps said. “Once you start feeling pain, you’re still going to be in pain no matter how slow you go.”
On the rare occasion that Knieps has a day off from running, the first thing he does is get off his feet. The second is to pop the top on a blue Kool-Aid Jammer. Then he continues his hydration binge with Drew Gama to McDonalds for sweet tea.
Then it is time for some steak and garlic mashed potatoes, Knieps’ favorite meal. In the future, the accounting and finance major would like to own a steak house. He already has the name picked out.
“I think I would call it something catchy like Nip’s Steak Tips,” Knieps said.
The location of this future restaurant would no doubt be in Chicago. Born in Chicago, Knieps is the city’s biggest enthusiast, but he is learning to make due in Iowa.
His favorite part about the Hawkeye state is the different atmosphere, and his least favorite part is the pizza.
“This is sad, but I think the best pizza around here is Papa John’s,” Knieps said. “I need some of Fox’s thin crust and Lou Malnati’s thick crust here.”
For now, he settles for the chicken nugget bowls in the café and brown sugar flavored instant oatmeal as his in-season diet.
With the conclusion of indoor season, Knieps looks forward to the outdoor season for many reasons.
“It’s got less laps, faster times, and fresher air,” he said.
Kneips will be running across the river at Augustana College for the Augustana Easter Open on March 28.