Frezer Legesse is a professional runner whose legs have taken him around the world. In Oklahoma City, he is leaving a legacy one step at a time by helping grow track and field in the district where his career began.
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When professional mile runner Frezer Legess was younger, he never viewed running as a sport. It was always just an element of the sport at which he excelled – soccer.
That changed during Frezer’s senior year of high school when his soccer coach at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City required him to run cross country for conditioning.
With no ball to dribble or defenders to elude, Frezer found running very self-empowering. The only thing he had to do was run.
And the only thing he had to do to run better was run more.
Having attended school in Oklahoma City’s inner city after emigrating from Ethiopia, Frezer knew little of the resources that were available to other athletes and sports programs.
His high school didn’t even have a track, so he trained on a neighboring school’s dirt track.
Despite competing on substandard surfaces, Frezer ran right into collegiate track and field stardom.
When you don’t have facilities, it’s hard to stay motivated.
While competing at state-of-the-art college facilities, Frezer realized that disadvantaged youth athletes aren’t just competing against other athletes.
They’re competing against the lack of opportunity. They are trying to outrun their own feelings of inferiority.
Despite being one of only four middle distance runners in the country sponsored by Under Armour, Frezer decided to move back to Oklahoma City to train and help grow running sports in inner city schools and communities where his career began.
As a professional mile runner, Frezer knows the race ahead is more of a distance medley relay than a sprint.
But with teammates like Fields & Futures on his side, he’s perfectly content leaving a legacy one step at a time.