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Girls cross country 2018: Avon's Jules Frombach loves to compete, fight through tough days

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    Avon senior Jules Frombach leads her teammates during a practice last month. Frombach is one of the top runners in the area and a leader for an Eagles team that lost four of its top seven runners from last season. BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

    CT

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Jules Frombach missed making it to the state cross country meet by 5.5 seconds last year. While she wasn’t happy about that, it’s all part of what the Avon senior finds so valuable about the sport.

And it’s why she’ll work that much harder this season.

“That’s what I really like about the sport,” Frombach said. “You’re not always going to feel great. The weather isn’t always going to be great. But you always find a way to tough through it so on the good days it really helps you to feel better. The coaches and your teammates really help you through the lows so that way when you get to the highs they’re way more fun.”

Frombach has had plenty of highs. On varsity since her freshman year, she’s a three-time regional qualifier and three-time first-team All-Lorain County runner.

She’s been a member of two Southwestern Conference championship teams in track (2017-18) and one in cross country (2015), while individually taking second at the SWC cross country meet as a freshman (19:40) and fourth as a sophomore (19:37.5). She owns five SWC track titles, two in the 1,600 (2016-17) and three as a member of the 4x800 (2016-18).

In track, Frombach is a two-time Division I state qualifier as a member of the 4x800 relay. That team, which included sisters Sydnie and Lexie Firment and Evelyn Pelfrey, ran a 9:15.68 on May 23 at the Amherst regional to break a 20-year-old Lorain County record.

Frombach was the Eagles’ No. 1 cross country runner at last year’s Elyria district, finishing second in 20:05.20. She led Avon to its second Division I district girls title in four years at Lorain County Community College. The Eagles also made regionals in 2016 and ’15 with second-place finishes.

She’s being counted on more than ever this season with the graduation of four of the Eagles’ top seven runners.

“We’re very excited this season even though we lost some great seniors,” Frombach said. “We have a smart team and I feel like we’ve developed a tighter bond. We’re really focusing on getting better each day. The days that we keep getting better will only help us to go far at districts and regionals. The ultimate goal is to go to state. We definitely have high hopes.”

Frombach had to rally at last year’s district meet and did. She was coming off a tough Southwestern Conference meet a week earlier in which she placed only 10th (20:37.90) after winning the SWC Preview in August.

She then used her momentum from districts to finish 30th at regionals in 19:38.20, just missing a state berth.

“Jules is all about sports,” said Avon coach Matt Nortz, who is in his seventh season. “Obviously, she’s social and has good friends and all of that. But if I were to look at her, it’s family, school and sports in that order for her. She just loves it. She loves to compete. She just wants to do sports. Just an athlete.”

She’s a four-sport athlete, in fact. Besides cross country and track, Frombach plays lacrosse and basketball for the Eagles. She has three varsity letters each in cross country and track, plus two letters playing midfield in lacrosse and one letter as a guard in basketball.

She also played club soccer before her high school days. But when Avon Middle School didn’t have a soccer team and through encouragement from her sister, Lizzy, Frombach got hooked on running.

She’s never looked back.

Still, as much success as Frombach already has, Nortz knows she wants more.

“I want her to leave something,” Nortz said. “She’s going to do something in college, whether it’s lacrosse, basketball, cross country or track. … A kind of unique fact about her is that I don’t think she sat out a meet. The only meet she sat out was when I held her back when she was a freshman at the Boardman invite. She’s been ready and healthy for every meet.”

Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

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