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Teddy Frid embodies the combined-event athlete

Frid competes in the decathlon during the outdoor season, which consists of 10 events.
Freshman Teddy Frid runs in the 110-meter hurdles on Thursday evening at St. Thomas.
Image by Easton Green
Freshman Teddy Frid runs in the 110-meter hurdles on Thursday evening at St. Thomas.

The person who receives the title “World’s Greatest Athlete” is given to the Olympic decathlon winner, because they do nearly every type of physical activity.

That’s Teddy Frid’s choice of event as a junior in his first season competing for the Gophers. He competed for theUniversity of Sioux Falls before transferring to Minnesota. Frid does the heptathlon during the indoor season, while he competes in the decathlon during outdoor season.

“He’s a positive guy, he’s happy to be competing,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “The training for decathlete is so diverse, that they gain a lot of skill. A lot of times it’s said that a decathlete would have the ability to make a great coach because he understands the technical aspect of every event.”

Frid was originally a hurdler and a high jumper, but the coaches at Sioux Falls had the idea of making him a decathlete and a heptathlete. They thought he could thrive as a combined-event athlete, because of his size and speed, so Frid decided to do it.

The heptathlon consists of the 60-meter, long jump, shot put, high jump on day one, followed by the 60-meter hurdle, pole vault and 1,000 meter run on day two. 

The decathlon involves the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters during on the first day 110 meters hurdles, discuss throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500 meter in day two.

“When you start to look at the mental approach in which you need to have,” assistant coach Paul Thornton said. “You have to stay within the present, for outdoors you’re in the decathlon with 10 events. You can only affect what’s going on in the immediate thing in which you’re actually doing. If you have a bad event before, you have to let it go.”

Thornton, at the start of the year, told Frid that the first couple of meets will be major in breaking personal records and his development.

The first meet of the season at the SDSU Holiday Open, where Frid finished runner-up in the heptathlon. He wanted better results and knew he had more in him.

A month and a half later at the Jack Johnson Classic is when the tides started to turn. He broke a personal record in the heptathlon by 300 points. He also finished in first place at the meet.

“My first goal was to make the Big Ten roster, score in the Big Ten one through eight,” Frid said. “I had looked at the previous years and what had taken eighth place and it was right around what my heptathlon personal record was at the time. I figured with the new training schedule I’d be able to up the score.”

In his performance at the Big Ten Indoor, he improved on his personal record by 99 points at 5,680. The mark put him at fourth all time in Minnesota history. He broke his personal record again at the national meet with 5,717 points and a 10th-place finish.

“After seeing what happened in indoor season, my confidence level is a lot higher especially knowing I have the capability of making it to the national meet,” Frid said. “Expectations is to put together a pretty good decathlon and get a national mark this next week. Then taking it easy and ramping up the training for Big Ten.”

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