Pictured is Clinton Township Chippewa Valley girls cross country coach Frank Tymrak. Although Tymrak has coached various sports over the years, the cross country season holds a special place in his heart.

Pictured is Clinton Township Chippewa Valley girls cross country coach Frank Tymrak. Although Tymrak has coached various sports over the years, the cross country season holds a special place in his heart.

Photo by Sean Work


Chippewa Valley girls cross country coach enjoying another season

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published September 17, 2018

 Members of the cross country team are pictured at a recent practice. Tymrak said, “The girls we have are the toughest girls in the school.”

Members of the cross country team are pictured at a recent practice. Tymrak said, “The girls we have are the toughest girls in the school.”

Photo by Sean Work

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — For many Michiganders, fall can mean different things.

For some, the best part of the season could be watching leaves change colors, while for others, it may be taking in college football games on Saturdays or a trip to a cider mill.

But for others, fall means another cross country season is upon them.

Frank Tymrak has been Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s girls cross country coach for about 10 years, and this fall is yet another opportunity for him to be around the sport that has brought much joy to his life.

“I love it so much,” Tymrak said. “It’s fall in Michigan; it’s one goal, one focus. It’s a great sport.”

Although Tymrak said he has coached “quite a few” sports, cross country is the one he enjoys the most.

Whereas with other sports, wins and championships is the standard for success, cross country is different.

Participants can take immense satisfaction from merely improving on a personal best time, even if others finish ahead of them in a given race.

Tymrak’s role as a coach has given him opportunities to see what that kind of accomplishment can do for girls in his program.

“I think you get the best reaction when they improve on their last best performance,” Tymrak said. “I think that’s really the core aspirations in cross country. … (The) improvement that they can see through hard work is really what I consider — and I think the girls (too) — a season of significance.”

Having student-athletes improve on their previous best performances can bring satisfaction to more than just the girls Tymrak coaches.

“It’s extremely rewarding, and it’s one of the main reasons that I’m out there,” he said.

While Tymrak has also coached football, which some may think of as the toughest sport, he has seen some pretty gritty characters in cross country too.

“The girls we have are the toughest girls in the school,” Tymrak said. “They accept their challenges. They know what the sport’s about, but they do it in a humbling way.”

A few of the girls on this year’s squad are senior captains Natalie Benoit, Jenna Brown and Isabel Wychuyse, who Tymrak said have provided some of the “best leadership we’ve had as a group in recent memory.”

He can play a role in helping those girls, as well as their teammates, improve throughout the course of the season.

“I have so much fun,” Tymrak said. “That’s why I’m in it. It gives me an opportunity to relive the passion and try to help and support these young student-athletes.”

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