"I took a liking to Bikila and Yifter, but I really look up to the Kenyans in the steeplechase," Frame said, referring to the even more-dominant distance nation just south of Ethiopia.
Frame had a typically sluggish plebe year. He struggled in the classroom and his running suffered because of shin splints. He intensified his dedication to running this past summer with help from Navy veterans Ramon Martin and Greg Keller, and has finished anywhere from second to fourth for coach Al Cantello. The Middies are in the midst of a big week, competing at Army on Friday.
"I'm surprising myself," Frame said. "I was on the verge of being kicked out of here last year because of my grades, and I was going nowhere as a runner, too. Now I'm going through three miles [on five- and six-mile courses] in 14:45, and that's unbelievable."
On Nov. 16, Navy will try to qualify for the NCAA championships. A longer shot is Frame meeting the qualifying standard in either the steeplechase, 5,000 or 10,000 for next spring's track and field meet. He will do all that he can, because the NCAAs will be held in Austin, at the University of Texas.
Given his shaky plebe year, it doesn't appear likely that he'll qualify, but Bruce Frame knows firsthand that rough starts can be overcome.