Although she made her mark in track and field, Heidi Friese credits her early years in Punahou’s dance and gymnastics programs – dating back to third grade – for much of her athletic success. “Dancing and gymnastics gave me such a strong base in developing my physical body,” she says today, thankful that such programs were offered at Punahou.
Had it not been for a knee injury in seventh grade, she probably would have continued in gymnastics. Instead she took to the track, and by high school was a specialist in the 100- and 200-meter sprints, 100-meter hurdles, 4×400-meter relay and 4×800-meter relay.
As a member of four state championship track teams who spent her summers competing in the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics on the mainland, Friese captured the C. Dudley Pratt Award her senior year as the School’s co-female athlete of the year. “I think I’ve always been in some sport my whole life,” she says.
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