MIKEY LANGNER ; Guest Writer; langnemw@plu.edu

Head coach Adam Frye took the reins this season as the new head coach of the cross-country and track and field programs at Pacific Lutheran University.

Frye began his road to coaching by discovering his passion for running at a young age. Frye ran cross-country and track for many years, including four years as a student-athlete at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Frye competed in cross-country as well as track and field for Luther College from 2003-2007. Frye was named cross-country team captain his Senior year while helping the Norse win the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) in 2006 and following that up with a sixth place finish at the Division III National Championships.

According to the Luther College men’s track and field page, Frye is currently seventh all-time at Luther College in the 2000 meter steeplechase.

Beginning his coaching career in 2007, Frye became an assistant coach for cross-country and track & field at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minn. In 2009 Frye became an assistant at his alma mater Luther College. Frye then returned to Hamline in 2012 to become  the co-head coach for both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams.

In 2015, Frye became the head coach for the women’s cross-country team at Sammamish High School in Bellevue, Washington when he and his wife moved to the Pacific Northwest so his wife could accept a new job in the area.

Following his one-year stint at Sammamish, Frye applied for the cross-country and track and field head coaching vacancies at PLU.

“I saw an opening and was intrigued. I didn’t know much about PLU but I saw the potential for success,” said Frye.

In his first season as head coach, the men’s cross-country team placed second in the conference, their  best season finish since 1998.

“My goal coming in was first to establish the right team culture, where athletes will work hard, have fun and support each other,” said Frye. “I’m also very competitive and want to win. I would like the programs to equal or better their conference results from last year. This will get us closer to our overall goal of winning conference championships.”

Frye has brought a handful of changes to the PLU program this year, including switching the practice time from 6 a.m. to later in the afternoon, which the athletes seem to especially  appreciate. Frye has also placed a bigger concern this year on what athletes need to be doing outside of practice.

“This season Coach Frye has placed a huge emphasis on recovery outside of practice,” said junior Garrett Hittner, a sprinter on the PLU track team. “We have had meetings about eating healthy, sleeping enough and allowing your body to be in the best state possible for training as well as competition. As far as recovery goes, the results from meets this year speak for themselves.”

The greatest result has been members of the track and field team excelling at the Northwest Conference Championships. The men’s team finished third overall with senior Brad Hodkinson winning NWC Track Athlete of the year. The women’s team competed at a high level too, placing sixth with first-year Vakeamanu Hunkin winning NWC Freshman of the year. ◼︎

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