Sports

Kreier hopes to leave Decatur on top after accepting coaching job at PLU

It’s an opportunity Heather Kreier couldn’t pass up.

The Decatur High School head boys and girls cross country, boys swimming and girls track coach will be leaving the Gators’ sports programs after nearly a decade of coaching.

Next weekend’s Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships at the King County Aquatic Center will be her final event at Decatur. Kreier will be taking over as an assistant track and field coach at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland and will be in charge of middle and long distance runners.

“I was headhunted during cross country season,” said Kreier, who led the Gator boys to the Class 4A state swimming championship last year. “I had a lot of athletes follow me from cross country into swimming and some of them were upset when I told them. But I thought it would be kind of crappy not to tell them.”

Kreier has been commuting to Decatur from her home in Graham over the past seven years. During that time she and her husband, Bret, have welcomed a pair of little kids into their lives, Porter and Amber.

“I just have no break — ever,” Kreier said. “It was just a good change up for me right now.”

Kreier has actually been on PLU’s payroll since January, but she was allowed to finish out the winter sports season at Decatur for the defending state-champion Gators.

“I had to make a tough decision,” she said. “I would have loved to finish the track season, but they wanted me to start.”

Pacific Lutheran University head track and field coach, Brad Moore, wanted Kreier to join his staff so bad that he had his wife do some recruiting for him. Moore sent his wife to a Decatur cross country meet to offer Kreier the job.

“I really didn’t believe it was happening,” Kreier said. “After the meet I followed up and found out it was real. But I will be starting out on the bottom again and will have to work my way up.”

Kreier will not be giving up a teaching position at Decatur. She is the owner of a health and wellness program called Fit 4 Life and has an academic background in exercise physiology, biomechanics and sports nutrition from Cal State Northridge. She says she plans on attending graduate school at PLU.

“She is going to be a tough one to replace,” Decatur Athletic Director Greg Flynn said. “She does a wonderful job. She certainly left her mark on Decatur.”

Longtime Federal Way school district coach Sam Beasley will be taking over the Decatur track and field program when spring sports practice starts up March 1.

“I have been (at Decatur) for a long time,” Kreier said. “I have quite a relationship with the kids, but I knew at some point that I would be looking at going to the college level.

“This was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

Wrestle Mania

Decatur’s Kyle Bressler and Federal Way’s Ludovic Mea should get a pretty good gauge on what their chances at bringing home state wrestling titles at this weekend’s Region 2 Wrestling Tournament at Eastlake High School in Sammamish.

Bressler, the defending Class 4A 189-pound state champion, will have a bracket which features three of the top-six wrestlers in the state, as ranked by Washington Preps.com — Bressler, Bothell’s Scott LaBrash and Emerald Ridge’s Brynsen Brown. But Bressler, who is No. 1-ranked and 32-0, has beaten all of them at one point in his career.

Mea, who finished sixth last year, has a tougher road to a regional title. Bothell’s Justin Davidson stands in his way. Davidson is undefeated on the season and ranked No. 1 by WashingtonPreps.com. Mea is ranked sixth despite beating the second-ranked Grant Nakashima of Kentwood earlier this year at a tournament.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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