Ravenscroft’s Wesley Frazier looks back on successful high school career

cgrant@newsobserver.comJune 8, 2013 

— When asked to describe her high school athletic career, recent Ravenscroft graduate Wesley Frazier replies, “I think it’s been successful. I had a lot of fun.”

Those words are an understatement for the 17-year-old who ran her way into numerous record books in the past four years.

She joins Green Hope High’s Maureen McDonnell, who won 16 varsity letters, as The News & Observer’s high school athlete of the year.

Frazier holds the U.S. high school record for the indoor 5000 meters and state records in the outdoor 1600 and 3200, and indoor state records in the 1600, 3200 and 5000.

“I never really knew I was capable of that,” Frazier said. “I just kind of ran, and when I raced well, I was just like, ‘Wow.’ It was just kind of more exciting for me and made me enjoy it more, so I just kept going and kept finding new races and new events that I liked and getting new (personal records), and it just made it more fun.”

Her father Tim suggested she start running when she was young. He thought running would be a healthy habit. He didn’t expect her to be a national caliber runner.

He has seen his daughter have national success, and he has watched her mature through the sport.

“She started running, and it developed a lot of confidence in her,” Tim Frazier said. “You could see it happening, and it was really good.”

Frazier first ran competitively as a sixth-grader for her middle school cross country team, but it wasn’t until her freshman year at Ravenscroft that she realized her potential.

“After I started high school and started running, I was doing pretty well and I really found how much I enjoyed it, and I knew then I wanted to see how far this could go,” Frazier said.

She attracted national attention as a freshman when she won the Seahawk Invitational in Wilmington, one of the state’s premier high school cross country races. She won the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A titles in the 800, 1600 and 3200 as a freshman and repeated for the next three years.

“Sophomore year I ran really well in the mile for the first time, and it just opened me up to learning how to run faster, and I’ve been able to use that in all of my events once I found out how fast I can move, especially at the end of a race,” she said.

Frazier recently used a last-lap push to win the Dream Mile, an invitation-only Adidas event that brought the nation’s top high school milers to New York.

She finished just ahead of twins Hannah and Haley Meier of Michigan, who will be her teammates at Duke.

Frazier said despite all of her individual accolades, she wishes Ravenscroft could have won a NCISAA state title. The Ravens finished second all four years.

“Her work ethic is surpassed only by her will to compete,” Ravenscroft track and field coach Shon Hardy said. “She loves running, so the competition factor is a boost for her, win or lose, although she does less of the latter. … As excellent as she is as a runner, she is an even better person. For someone as gifted and as talented as she, the humility in which she carries herself is commendable, and I feel it has been an honor and privilege to be able to witness such greatness.”

She was named the 2012 Gatorade Girls N.C. Track & Field Athlete of the Year and was the 2009-10 state girls’ cross country runner of the year.

Frazier said consistency has been key in her growth and success in the sport.

“I really try to be consistent in my workouts, and I always feel really good when I’m consistent,” Frazier said. “I train almost on a daily basis, so it’s consistent there and what time I go to bed and what time I eat.”

Frazier has also been extremely consistent on the track during her high school career, making her one of the most successful high school runners ever in the state.

Wesley Frazier


Why Wesley? 15 High School National All-Americans, 5 National High School Championships (2011 Outdoor 5K and 1 mile; 2012 Outdoor 2 mile; 2013 Indoor 5k and 2 mile), National High School Record in indoor 5K, 2 N.C. high school records (1600, 3200), 14 NCISAA state championships

College: Duke

GPA: 3.8

Parents: Timothy Frazier, Tammy Palmer

Add to Mount Rushmore: Benjamin Franklin

Favorite book: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Hardest subject: AP statistics

Fun is: Running with my future Duke teammates

Favorite subject in school: AP English language

Inspiration: Coach Steve McGill

Childhood toy: Stuffed animal

Biggest thrill: Running relays

Best moment in your sports career: Duke 1-2-3 sweep at the 2013 adidas Dream Mile

Success is: Fulfillling your potential

Ideal guest list: John Wayne, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Bowerman

Most satisfying win: 2011 Brooks PR Invitational 2 mile

After a win, I like to: Socialize with other runners

Slogan: Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit

Proud of: My fellow Duke recruits

Best place to run: Nike campus

Favorite food: Oatmeal with fruit

Biggest disappointment: Never winning an N.C. Independent School Athletic Association team championship

The word: Threshold

Grant: 919-829-4538

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