Willapa Valley's Chelsi Friese Signs With EWU

May 22, 2007

Chelsi Friese, a two-time defending state champion and state record holder in the pole vault, has signed a letter of intent to attend Eastern Washington University and compete for the Eagles next year.

Friese, whose father Rob is her coach and was a standout defensive back for the EWU football team in the mid-1980's, will defend two titles at this week's Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) State 1B, 2B Championships at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash. She will compete in the pole vault, 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash and the 4x200 relay this week for Willapa Valley, a member of the new 2B classification.

Last year at the State 2A/1A/B Championships in Cheney, she won the B pole vault with a meet record of 11-3, breaking the previous record by a foot. She also won the 100-meter hurdles (15.59), was second in the 100 (12.85) and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (48.25).

Since 2004 as a freshman, she has scored 50 points at state meets for Willapa Valley. Last year as a junior, she scored all 33 of her points on the final day as the Vikings finished fifth with 37 points. Her 33 points were the most among the 1,597 athletes competing at the meet (three classifications).

As a sophomore, Willapa Valley was fourth as she won the pole vault title (9-9) and placed in the top eight in three other events. As a freshman, she was eighth in the pole vault (8-0).

Despite standing a diminutive 5-feet tall, Friese had a personal best of 11-6 in the pole vault earlier this season. Her state qualifying mark of 10-6 in last week's District IV Championships was a foot higher than the next-best state participant, teammate Haleigh Raymond.

"We're very excited to sign Chelsi," said EWU women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "Her strength is the pole vault, but she will also be able to compete in hurdle events for us and will help our team immensely. (Pole vault coach Eric Allison) has always done a great job to develop and coach pole vaulters, and Chelsi will be a great addition to his group."

Friese also earned All-State honors in volleyball (second team as a libero) and basketball (first team from Associated Press) as a senior. She was selected as her team's MVP in the 2B/1B All-State basketball game in March 2007, scoring a game-high 13 points as her West team lost to the East 64-59. As a senior in basketball she averaged 20 points per game and had 16 and 13 steals in individual games. She has also received a variety of Pacific League honors both athletically and academically in all three sports.

In 2006, she was selected as the Aberdeen Daily World co-Athlete of the Year and was State Class B Female Track Athlete of the Year, as selected by the Washington State Track & Field Annual.

Rob Friese was a four-year football letterwinner at EWU from 1982-85, helping Eastern to a 9-3 record in 1985 as a senior and the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Besides helping coach the track team, Rob Friese is the school's principal and football coach as well.

Chelsi's mother Lisa also attended Eastern and was a cheerleader for EWU. Chelsi's brother Shawn is currently an Eastern student after graduating from Willapa Valley in 2004. Her sister Laura also competed in the State Championships in Cheney and is now in the marching band at Washington State University.


More on EWU Football Standout Rob Friese

-- Had 169 tackles, nine interceptions, 16 passes broken up and a 12.1 average per punt return in his career.

-- His 84-yard punt return for a touchdown in the I-AA playoffs in 1985 versus Northern Iowa still stands as the longest in school history, and he had a 72-yarder for a TD earlier that season versus Idaho.

-- Currently principal (since 1997) at Willapa Valley High School. He won the Robert J. Handy Administrator of the Year award in 2005 and has served as the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals Small School Representative. He has also served on the AWSP Certificate of Academic Achievement Committee.

-- As head football coach at Willapa Valley High School, he has coached the team to State B football titles in 1996 and 2001. He has won six league titles and has a 107-38 record with 11 playoff appearances (entering 2007).

-- He has been honored as WSCA District IV Football Coach of the Year and has earned league coach of the year honors multiple times. For several years he served as the WSCA west-side coordinator for the East-West All-State football game, and once he was the winning head coach in the B/A/AA game.

-- He has been honored as the Seattle Seahawks Coach of the Week and has served on that NFL team's High School Coaches Council. He has also served on the WIAA B Football Study Committee.

-- As head coach of the girls track team, his squads have won 12 league titles. Three times his teams have placed third in the state, and once they finished fourth. He also serves as an assistant for the boys, which won the 2002 State B title and was the runner-up the following season.

-- Came to Eastern from Willapa Valley High School where he graduated from high school in 1981 after helping his school win three state championships in sports. He was a coach and teacher at Ocosta High School before returning to WVHS.

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