A new, yet familiar coach, will put the Lutheran St. Charles boys and girls cross country teams through their paces as they prepare for meets this coming fall when LSC alum and current teacher Elizabeth Fruend moves from assistant to head coach.
Fruend, who replaces former coach Sam Weinhold, is excited to have the chance to work with the runners and put her stamp on the program.
“The cross country kids are just super good kids and that’s why I love coaching them,” Fruend said.
She was officially named the new cross country coach at LSC in late spring. Weinhold led the program the past two seasons.
Fruend said her love of running and being involved in the sport, spurred her interest in the taking over the cross country clubs.
“I’ve been going to a lot of different [running] conferences and I enjoy running and have run for many, many years with a couple of my girlfriends. My three kids [Joshua, Julia and Travis] have always run cross country and track, so I’ve been around it for a very, very long time,” Fruend said. “Also, I’m in constant communication with really good distance coaches from and out of the area, and they have helped me tremendously … I’m learning all the time.”
Before being a volunteer assistant coach at LSC for the past two seasons, Fruend coached cross country and track at Immanuel Lutheran grade school in St. Charles for seven years. There, her teams won six boys state championships and three girls state championships.
“Immanuel Lutheran is a huge grade school in St. Charles and we had a few cross country coaches,” Fruend said. “I think my experience there will help here.”
Fruend received her bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Wisconsin. While there, she was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team and an all-conference athlete.
As the school year ended, Fruend began daily work with her new team doing some buildup distance work to get a feel for where the athletes are and what they need to work on.
“Basically, we go Monday through Friday. The kids show up and we just kind of put in the volume [work] right now,” Fruend said. “The first few weeks they do volume, and then we’ll start doing some workouts the third week. They are showing up and that’s the key.”
Fruend is expecting good things from the Cougars this fall.
“I’m really happy [with them] and I’ve got a place in place,” Fruend said. “I just hope I can keep them all injury free because when you put in a lot of mileage and a lot of volume, sometimes there can be injuries. I just really pray that we can have the least amount of injuries as possible.”