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Athletes HI editor new cross country coach

by Kyle Galdeira, staff writer

 

If Christian Friis coaches as well as he runs, HPU can look forward to cross country success in the near future. Friis, who took the helm as HPU cross country coach in August, ran for three years for HPU’s cross country team and was the first HPU runner to qualify for the NCAA championship race.

“It’s been three years since I ran for HPU,” said Friis, who graduated with a master’s degree in communication in 2003. “I look forward to giving back to the school for everything they gave me,” Friis said.

 

As a senior in 2000, Friis helped lead the Sea Warriors to an eighth-place finish in the Regional championship, a school best. In 1998, Friis represented HPU in the NCAA II National Cross Country Championships. He is the first runner in school history with this distinction. Friis also won first place in the NCAA II Regional Championship by topping a field of 100 runners in a 10K race. The successful season resulted in Cross Country Athlete of the Year and Academic All-American honors for Friis.

Prior to joining HPU, Friis finished fourth in the 1996 Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:22:08.

Friis got his start in running as a child participating in fun runs with his father and father’s friends. He has continued running for 18 years and competes in various triathlons, marathons, and track races. While he has coached marathon groups and individuals, this is Friis’ first college coaching experience.
Through four races this season, the men’s team captured second place twice. Matt Stevens won first place individually in three of the four events. With less than two months remaining in the season, Friis expects the team to keep progressing.

“ I’m hoping that at the end of the season we will be winning races,” said Friis.
In addition to coaching, Friis produces and sells advertisements for Athletes HI, a magazine with race information and applications for runners in Hawai‘i. He also teaches a night class in advertising sales at HPU this fall.

 

 

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