Pablo E. Ortiz
You see his name, you hear his name and before you speak his name, he is already across the finish line.
Jeff Fraley, a Missouri Southern track and field sprinter, is becoming a household name in his senior year. Fraley, who is originally from St. Robert, Mo., attended Waynesville High School, where he became a three-year letter winner and was an All-District, All-Conference pick. During his time at Southern, where his career as a Lion began in 2012, Fraley has done nothing less than great things, from qualifying to nationals to breaking records.
In Fraley’s 2015 indoor season, he won the MIAA High Point Award at the MIAA Championships after winning two sprinting events and playing a part in the winning mile relay team. Following his outstanding indoor season, he came back to win the title in the 100m, 200m, and placed third in the 4x100m relay in his 2015 outdoor season. With his agile skills, he was able to set records in the outdoor 100m, 200m, and 4x100m in outdoor. This spring Fraley was named MIAA Men’s Track Athlete of the week for three weeks straight. With ranking high in the 100m, sixth in the 200m, and fourth nationally in the 400m, it is no doubt that he is deserving of that nomination.
Fraley is a little bit sorry to see it all end.
“This last year has been bittersweet,” he said. “I have loved the team and all the friends and family that I have made because of track. This last year also has allowed me to reflect on the past seasons and appreciate the places and opportunities that track has taken me as well. I want to go out on top. I want my senior year to do something no other previous team has done. I want to win an outdoor championship. I want to set records that are harder to break.”
Darion Boure, former teammate and a retiring track and field all-star, said, “Fraley is one of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Southern.”
“I do still think I can get faster,” Fraley said. “There is still much I can learn from Coach [Bryan] Schiding and as the season gets closer to an end, me and him will start to transition to a different phase of seriousness and training to help push me on that next level.”
As the season is coming to an end, with the MIAA Championships, MSSU Last Chance Twilight, and the NCAA D-II National Championships still ahead, Fraley has nothing but success coming from his last year.
Already qualifying for nationals in the 100m and 200m, he is determined to make it count.
As far as what comes next, Fraley has set the bar even higher.
“After graduation, I will start graduate school at Missouri State University for my doctorate in physical therapy,” he said. “While there I plan to continue training and compete in some professional meets. I plan on hitting the standard for the Olympic trials and competing at the trials.”