Cardinal is more than a runner

By Jon Moffett

Audra Frimpong may be the epitome of track and field. Not only does she run, but she jumps, runs hurdles and takes part in relays too. And she does it all very well.

One thing she doesn’t do well, though, is accept people’s generalization of the sport she loves.

“I hate when people say that track is all just running,” Frimpong said with a scowl. “If you’re not fast, you can do field events like the shot put or discuss, or jump. If you have good endurance, you can be a distance runner. There is so much more to it than just running.”

Frimpong graduated from Canfield High School earlier this month. During her career as a Cardinal, Frimpong earned 12 Metro Athletic Conference titles. Some of the events that she holds the conference record for are the 100- and 200-meter dashes, 100 hurdles and the long jump. Out of all the events she’s participated in, the long jump is her favorite event.

One of the reasons the long jump is Frimpong’s favorite event may be because she won a state championship in it.

Frimpong won the Division I state title for the long jump in 2007. Her jump of 19 feet, 6 1/2 inches still ranks as her personal best. Frimpong said her state title was her favorite career moment.

“[A state championship] was within my reach, but I couldn’t have it until my last jump. I loved every second of it.”

The best thing about track, said Frimpong, is the camaraderie that is created between athletes.

“It’s fun. You get to know the people that you’re running against,” said Frimpong. “I used to play soccer, and I would hate the other person when we were on the field. But when I’d run with that same person, we were fine. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere.”

Frimpong said her favorite sport to play, outside of track, is basketball. Frimpong was born in Detroit and cheers for her hometown Pistons. She likes LeBron James, too.

When asked who the driving force was behind her success, Frimpong said, “I would have to say my parents. They sacrificed so much for me to be able to go where I wanted to. They would take off work just to take me to a meet. Their support has been unbelievable. They want me to succeed so much in life.”

Frimpong will attend the University of Alabama in the fall. She hopes to further her track career with the Crimson Tide. “They have an amazing coaching staff and program down there. I hope to improve on something that I love so much.”

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