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October 8, 2009

Freriks Already Making Impact in Young Career

By Eric DeSalvo, NAU Media Relations

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Arriving at NAU just two months ago, freshman Tim Freriks was no stranger to the area. The first year cross country runner is a native of Cottonwood, just 68 miles southwest of Flagstaff. Freriks was a four-year letterwinner in both cross country and track and field at Mingus Union High School.

The biology major has made his presence felt on the team thus far in his young career. In his first race at NAU, Freriks ran unattached in the George Kyte Classic and placed seventh overall. He would then go on to make his team debut at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, where he crossed the stripe 11th. This past weekend, Freriks took part in the Cowboy Jamboree finishing 38th out of 245 runners. Recently the talented freshman spoke about his transition to college life, competing against top-notch competition and his goals for the rest of the season.

On how he heard about the Northern Arizona cross country program…

“My junior and senior year I had been looking through collegiate results and NAU was pretty easy to notice with them placing fourth in the nation in 2007 and sixth in 2008. I figured they had a strong program and was very interested in them.”

On how his recruiting process went…

“It went well. The first time I met coach Heins was at the Four Corners Invite up here at Buffalo Park in early September. I had actually filled out the (NAU) questionnaire the day before, so I got lucky there. I ended up coming here for a visit in October, and really enjoyed it. I knew from the get go that NAU was my top choice.”

On how he is getting acclimated to the college lifestyle…

“It has been going really well. My classes aren’t as strenuous as I thought they would be. I am studying all the time, but it is manageable. You just have to put in the work, and I have been doing that.”

On balancing a full course load and making it to all of the practices during the week…

“I am busier than I have ever been between balancing running 80 miles a week and doing class work. It is manageable. The key is definitely time management.”

On the biggest differences between running at the colligate level and high school…

“The field is so much deeper. There are so many more fast guys here. You might have been a stud in high school, but you are surrounded by guys of equal ability here at the collegiate level.”

On how is first season is progressing…

“I think it has been going well for me. I think the transition went well. I have been trying my best to hang with the top guys and just stay in the mix. The first few weeks were tough, but I think I have gotten into a rhythm up here and it has been going well.”

On running in the Cowboy Jamboree…

“I thought it was awesome. Our first couple of meets were smaller. This one was pretty sweet to see who else is out there running fast. I have always liked big races. You find out where you really are at and how tough you are. You are never out in the open alone where you can relax because you constantly have guys around you. It was definitely an exciting experience.”

On his goals for the rest of the season…

“I would love to keep traveling. I want to be closer to the guys ahead of me. At the Cowboy Jamboree, I was too far off from Jason Pedersen. I just need to continue to work on staying with the guys ahead of me and running my best.”