Eugene, Ore. - This will be Bridget Franek's first year assisting the distance runners at Lane Community College. In 2017, she took charge of the women's distance program at the University of Akron. In just a year and a half, a school record had been broken, two team conference championships had been won and nearly every athlete had run personal bests.
Prior to her coaching career, Franek competed as a professional track and field athlete herself for 6 years while living in Eugene. In that time, she qualified for the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 London Olympic Finals in the 3,000m steeplechase. Throughout her career, she competed in several Diamond League events and in 14 different countries. She also tried out cross country obstacle racing and won the 2015 Warrior Dash World Championships.
Franek attended Penn State for college where she tried steeplechase for the first time as a freshman. She went on to set six school records at various distances and claimed 10 All-American awards in XC, indoor and outdoor track. She helped her team win 5 Big Ten conference championship and qualified as an individual to represent the United States at the 2009 World Championships her junior year. She won the NCAA Div I National Championship title in the steeplechase her senior year (2010) at Hayward Field.
Franek graduated with an undergraduate degree in kinesiology and has an MBA from the University of Oregon. She enjoys crafting, making jewelry, and volunteering in her community. She currently works for Eugene Civic Alliance fundraising to build a community recreation facility.