CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Director of track and field/associate athletics director of administration Vin Lananna announced the addition of Nicole (Blood) Freitag as an assistant coach for cross country and track & field on Wednesday (Oct. 9).
“Nicole Freitag is an outstanding addition to our staff,” Lananna said. “Her experiences as a high school prodigy who developed into a stellar collegiate athlete will be valuable in relating to the very gifted University of Virginia student-athletes. She has done a remarkable job as a student-athlete, coach, teacher and mentor. I am excited to reunite with her as we build for the future.”
Freitag joins the UVA staff as a nationally decorated distance runner. The former University of Oregon runner was a nine-time All-American and four-time Pac-10 champion. During her career, Freitag recorded nine top-10 finishes at the NCAA championships (two- cross country, four – indoor track and field, three- outdoor track and field), including finishing as the 2009 NCAA outdoor runner-up in the 5,000m. She also captured two third-place finishes on the national stage, finishing third in the outdoor 5,000m in 2008 and in the 10,000m in 2010. Freitag won the Pac-10 cross country conference title in 2009 and captured three track and field crowns, winning the 5,000m race twice and 10,000m race once. After college, Freitag competed as an elite athlete for Nike (2010-12) where she trained to make an Olympic team and compete on an international level.
From 2012-14, Freitag served as the women’s assistant cross country and track coach at Columbia. With the Lions, she qualified distance runners for the NCAA regional and national championships. She also recruited highly-ranked runners, both on a state and national level, to the program.
“Charlottesville is absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn’t ask for a better area to coach, run and call my home,” Freitag said. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with a group of smart and talented young women alongside my former college coach. We’re a great team, and I look forward to getting started on this mission together.”
Prior to Virginia, Freitag worked for two years (2017-19) at On in Portland, Ore., starting as an event producer before being named the global sports marketing manager over track and field in 2018. As an event producer, she managed North American expos and tradeshows for the company, in addition to handling contracts for sponsored events as well as executing launch events for North America. As the global sports marketing manager, she created and implemented On’s strategy as it branched into track and field. She expanded the company’s track and field roster while cultivating relationships with the sport’s community.
Freitag worked for Nike from 2015-17 as a running expert and brand respond specialist, where she analyzed and tracked footwear trends and educated consumers on footwear specifics. She served as a national scholastic sales manager for ElliptiGO the year prior (2014-15). Freitag increased product awareness with EllptiGo and contributed articles to the company’s monthly sports performance newsletter.
Freitag graduated from Oregon with a bachelor of science degree in journalism in 2010.