Five years ago, Joe Frye came to Belmont with a focus on music business and an aspiration to throw shot put on the side. Flash forward to 2011, and Frye would be the first to say that times have changed.
As a walk-on for the 2007 season, Frye set the Belmont records in the hammer throw and shot put.
After learning new events, he decided that the 2008 season held great potential for improvement.
“I started working harder in the weight room,” he said. “Something clicked with the hammer throw outdoors and in the indoor season I got fourth in the conference so that was looking better. In the outdoor season I excelled and won my first outdoor conference title in the hammer throw.”
With such impressive results as a sophomore, Frye knew that he had potential to do some great things for the Belmont track program if he could have more time to train.
“I talked with my coach and said, ‘Hey, I really want some more time to work on technique and get better. Can I redshirt my junior year and try to use these next two years to really try to do something big?” he said.
Strength and conditioning coach Josh McMillian granted the request, realizing that Frye had potential.
“Joe’s work ethic has been second to none,” he said.
Frye’s redshirt junior year brought many accolades, including being the first Belmont athlete to receive Most Outstanding Field Athlete at the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships and the coveted Belmont Male Athlete of the Year award.
When Frye approached his senior year of eligibility, he set a goal to reach the USA Indoor National Championships. He described reaching the mark in February as a relief.
“I had been pushing myself so hard to try to get there, so it was almost like, ‘All right. My throwing career is complete,” he said.
As the first Belmont athlete invited to perform at the event, and one of just two collegiate athletes, Frye said, “There’s no way I can be disappointed or put down by any performance I do.”
Placing tenth in the weight throw, Frye appreciated competing in an environment where track athletes were treated like royalty, with headlines that spoke of world-class athletes.
Both Frye and McMillian hope his career will help lure future recruits. Frye also commented that the addition of the Rose Park sports complex also holds potential.
“It’s definitely going to put us on the map to hold events, and people might start hearing the Belmont track name,” he said.
Future plans for Frye’s final outdoor season at Belmont include continuing to break his school records and retaining titles in both discus and hammer throw. Upon completion of Atlantic Sun action, he hopes to reach the NCAA Regionals and Nationals.