Record-setting Pine Island pole-vaulter returns to help coach

By Marc Lunde

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

As a junior, Amanda Frame advanced to the Class A state track and field meet as the top seed in the girls pole vault and came home with a disappointing sixth place.

In 2001 as a Pine Island senior, she was determined to do better.

Not only did she win the event, but she set a Class A state meet record of 11 feet, 6 inches. It was only Minnesota’s fourth year of girls pole vaulting. Almost six years later, the mark still stands.


Frame followed that stellar senior season at Pine Island by building a monstrous resume at Minnesota State University, Mankato. That included two Division II indoor pole-vault national titles, two outdoor national runner-up finishes, five-time All-American honors, academic All-American and 2004-2005 MSU Female Athlete of the Year.

She also graduated with a degree in mathematics and started on her master’s in math education.

Even with all this big-stage success, she knew she wanted to return to Pine Island and coach.

"I’ve always wanted to come back and coach here," said Frame, now married and named Amanda Swintek. "I want to see the pole vaulters do well and the track team do well. I (used to) come back during spring breaks to help out."

Swintek was still in Mankato working on her master’s while her husband, Dan, was finishing his education when longtime Pine Island girls coach Wayne Dickie stepped down following the 2006 season. Wayne and his wife, Stephanie, were starting a family. Panthers assistant coach Brenda Frame, Amanda’s mother, then took over the program with her husband, Bill.

At the time, they were filling the position until they got a replacement for Dickie. But Brenda Frame took a sabbatical this fall from teaching math at Rochester Community and Technical College, traveling to Montana to continue working on her doctorate in math education.

Three weeks before the track and field season started, Pine Island was short a girls head coach. Turned out that Amanda was available. Now expecting their first child, Amanda was back in the area as Dan had taken a job as a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital in Rochester.

Amanda knew she couldn’t take the head coaching job and be a new mother, so Amanda and her father, Bill, struck a deal — Bill would assume the head coaching job, and Amanda would be his assistant.


But really, they operate more like co-head coaches, Bill says.

The transition from being an athlete to coach is difficult, but Swintek finds that having done the pole vault all those years helped prepare her for the position.

"Pole vault is a lot of mental preparation," she said. "I had to learn the sport very well to do well in it. That is what I try to teach my athletes to do."

But that doesn’t make everything easier.

"I have to think about a lot more events than the pole vault," Swintek said. "It’s new for my dad, but it’s new for both of us."

Although she paved her own course as an athlete, Swintek is following in her mother’s footsteps as an educator. Amanda is one class shy of her master’s degree in math education. She hopes to teach at RCTC while coaching in the area.

"Hopefully, I can stay at Pine Island for coaching," she said.

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