Fredrickson chose track over hockey to come to WSU

Senior looks to leave his mark after picking one passion over another



Senior Peyton Fredrickson had the opportunity to walk-on at a Division II school to play hockey, but instead decided to run track at WSU. “My heart’s always been with hockey,” he said.

SIGMUND SEROKA, Evergreen reporter

For Peyton Fredrickson, track began as something he did in middle school just to spend time with friends. But eventually, he discovered a talent for the high jump and hasn’t stopped since.

Growing up, Fredrickson enjoyed hockey the most, and track was something to do during the offseason with his friends.

“My heart’s always been with hockey,” Fredrickson said. “I lived in Texas for seven years as a kid, so I’m the biggest Dallas Stars fan you’ll find in the Pacific Northwest.”

A large influence on Fredrickson’s love of hockey comes from his father, Daren. Fredrickson said his dad played hockey for most of his life, and he always encouraged him to pursue the sport.

When it came to deciding which sport Fredrickson wanted to pursue, his mother, Kathleen, made sure to provide her input on her son’s athletic future. Fredrickson said his mom was a “track mom” and encouraged him to consider other options besides hockey while he was young.

Coming out of Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, Fredrickson had two options: pursue a career as a hockey player and accept a walk-on offer from a Division II school, or run track at Division I university in the Pac-12.

When it came down to it, advice from his parents and Julian Williams, the head track-and-field coach at his high school, helped make Fredrickson’s decision obvious.

Williams told Fredrickson he would be considered one of the best athletes in the nation if he went to a Pac-12 school, so he said why not, and now the senior is competing in his final year with WSU.

“Peyton was the type of kid you knew was going to be special from the first day he walked on campus,” Williams said in an email.

Fredrickson’s journey to Pullman didn’t come without some adversity. In high school, he suffered a hairline fracture in his foot and in his senior season he tore his plantar fascia, causing him to hobble around when he came to WSU for his visit.

Despite the injuries, Williams said Fredrickson has always had a desire to be the best.

“Peyton was our top jumper from his sophomore year on making it to regionals and or state every year,” Williams said in an email. “[He] is one of the fiercest, hardest working athletes I’ve coached but he also has one of the biggest hearts too.”

Fredrickson will be graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in sport management. His goals for this season include making it on the podium at conference championships, being in the top-16 in the nation during the indoor season and competing in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

After graduation, Fredrickson hopes to continue his jumping career and compete at the next level.

“If I clear 7 [foot] 3 [inches], then I’ll go back home and … see if I can’t make it to the Olympic trials,” Fredrickson said.