Tate Frost Heats Up XC Course, Wins Title

Stonebridge senior, Tate Frost enjoyed every second of the awards ceremony Thursday and even took the time to get a selfie with the all-state finishers. His victory, aside from strong, was a long time coming considering his last name. 

Tate, is now a two-time VISAA State Champion with this title joining his 800m title this past spring. He owns personal bests of 15:56 (5K), 9:46 (3200), 4:26 (1600), and 2:01 (800). This season though indicates those times are bound to fall indoors and outdoors. Before we get into the future though, let's take a look back at how this senior came for the win. 

If you have followed track/xc in Virginia for the past few years you might remember the name Frost, mainly Hope Frost who is Tate's older sister. Hope (now at Duke) was a 12-time state champion and standout triathlete. Most of the time though, she was so good that she had to go out of her way to find competition. That style of not shying away from competition is what lead Tate to win this title. 

Back in 2020-21, when everything was shut down except VA Beach, you had the choice to face some of the best runners in the United States or sit by the side. Tate stepped up to the challenge and week after week faced some great competition. 

Let's do a quick dive into the stats...

In the 2020 indoor season Tate finished an average of 30th place. Fast forward a year and he averaged 51st place despite being much faster and more experienced. 

It was that competition that battle-tested Tate into the athlete he is today. It's quite interesting to look at the direct trajectory, not of his times, but of his average placing towards his success. After that 2021 indoor season he dropped a minute off of his PR in XC and finished 17th at States. He followed it up with averaging 22nd place indoors in 2022 and ran at four large outdoor invitationals. 

Once again, he was rewarded for facing such good competition by winning his first state title and earning PR's in both the 800 and 1600 outdoors. 

Finally we get to this season. Once again, he did not shy away from competition and began his season finishing 20th at the Pole Green Classic against athletes from 62 teams. Invitational after invitational he improved and learned to fight. That boded well for him this past week as he was able to fight his way not only to the front but to the title in what was a close race until the final 500m. 

Tate Frost shows us that sometimes pushing yourself against people who are faster than you really does make you faster.