The morning of his interview for the open Valley City State University cross country and track and field coach position, Ken Frenette woke up about six in the morning and took a jog.
He went around Valley City and gave him a chance to check out the campus. He instantly got a good feeling.
“It seems like a pretty special place,” Frenette said.
Frenette was named the head coach of the teams Dec. 23 and will start working with the track teams next week.
He won’t have much time to get comfortable, though, as the team will immediately be preparing for their indoor season opening meet Jan. 13-14 at Bemidji (Minn.) State University.
“I’m definitely looking forward to hitting the ground running,” Frenette said.
Experience wise, Frenette brings plenty to the table.
He was a top track and cross country runner at NCAA Division I Campbell University in North Carolina, and then spend the next 23 years as a coach for the program.
He originally was the head coach of both the track and field and cross country programs, but in 2004 the school divided the programs and left him in charge of the cross country team.
Frenette said the University opted not to renew his contract following this season, which allowed him to apply for the opening at VCSU.
He said part of the allure of the job here was the opportunity to oversee both the track and cross country teams.
“You basically have a dog in every race,” he said. “You’re invested in the whole program and it gives you the opportunity to get to know athletes in more than one event.”
Helping the transition will be Ryan Brohmer, who has been serving as the team’s interim head coach.
Frenette said Brohmer will still play a part in the program and has helped the transition in by working with the athletes throughout the fall to help prep for the winter track season.
“There’s going to be some challegnes but I imagine, they’re college athletes and they want to do well and I expect they’ve been training over Christmas,” Frenette said.
Baseball signs two
VCSU baseball coach Casey Olney announced two signings for 2013 season in a release . Matt Jellum, a right handed pitcher and infielder from Marine on St. Croix, Minn., and Jake Lindenfelser, a right handed pitcher and outfielder from Monticello, Minn, have signed letters of intent to play for the Vikings in 2013.
Both are primarily pitchers but could be two-way contributors, Olney said in a release.
Jellum is 14-4 in his past two seasons with seven complete games, three shutouts, and has an ERA of 1.65 over his sophomore and junior seasons. He led Forrest Lake High School to conference and section championships the last two seasons.
“Matt is a tremendous addition to the Viking baseball program. He brings a quality arm and some versatility to the team,” Olney said. “He has played a lot of baseball at a high level in Minnesota and has been a part of successful teams in the past.”
Lindenfelser hit .309 with seven doubles, a triple and 19 RBI for St. Cloud Technical and Community College, which finished last year ranked #10 in NJCAA Division III.
As a pitcher, Jake had a 3.62 ERA in 27.1 innings with 23 strikeouts and only .269 batting average against him.
“Jake is a key addition as he brings a strong arm and powerful bat to the program,” Olney said. “We see Jake as a starting pitcher for us and as a guy who could help with the bat as well.”
Sekani Milligen honored by A.I.I.
For the second week in a row VCSU mens basketball player Sekani Milligen was named Male Athlete of the Week by the Association of Independent Institutions.
Milligen averaged 25 points per game in the Wesman Classic tournament last weekend in Winnipeg and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.