Ole Miss Team Competes at BattleFrog College Championship

Four UM students complete solid performance at the Navy Seals-inspired obstacle course

Ole Miss students to participate in BattleFrog.

Ole Miss students to participate in BattleFrog.

Four University of Mississippi students recently competed in the first-ever BattleFrog College Championship in Orlando, Florida, which airs next week on the ESPN networks.

Jack Coffin, a 22-year-old senior from Ruckersville, Virginia; Kim Duff, 24, a 2015 graduate from Greensboro, North Carolina; Josh Brenc, 19, a sophomore from Chicago, and Emily Lewis, 20, a senior from St. Louis, represented Ole Miss at the collegiate obstacle race that was inspired by U.S. Navy Seals training.

The BattleFrog College Championship airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 9) on ESPN2. The collegiate tournament featured a 400-meter relay, which accompanied more than 20 elite obstacles for contestants to overcome. The Ole Miss team was among 16 teams competing in a single-elimination tournament in hopes of winning a collegiate title, a $10,000 grand prize and the Trident Cup.

“I had heard about the competition through my twin sister, who is the female elite captain of the BattleFrog race team,” Coffin said. “I asked Josh through training together in Navy ROTC, and I had met Emily our freshmen year and was impressed with her work ethic and enthusiasm for crossfit. Kim and I have been great friends since sophomore year, and as a strong performer on the Ole Miss women’s soccer team, I knew she still had that competitive and athletic edge. It was hectic getting the team together at the last minute, but everyone was excited to give it a shot.”

The Ole Miss contingent was not even on the original 16-team roster for the tournament, which was staged March 12-15. The University of Texas team dropped out last minute, thus opening a spot for the Ole Miss squad to enter the competition as first alternate.

“I remember when Jack told me about it I thought it sounded super cool,” Lewis said. “Leading up to forming the team and then being accepted to the tournament, it was all so sudden. We did not really have a clue how the competition would be structured. We only had a description of obstacles that would be featured at the race.”

“I didn’t think twice about joining the team,” Duff said. “The experience turned out to exceed my expectations. Not only did we compete well with this team we threw together in two weeks, but it was a blast.”

The tournament structure over that March weekend allowed teams to go through the course on Friday for time trials that would affect seeding for the rest of the weekend. The Saturday and Sunday events featured match-ups of seeded teams until only two teams were left standing.

“It was very cool to be able to compete in this kind of athletic setting against other SEC schools,” Brenc said. “We figured out early on how to get past the obstacles quicker than the other teams.”

Obstacles included rope climbs, monkey bar courses, wall climbs and more, all designed to test the physical limits of participants.

“Most teams didn’t know what to expect when they entered the competition,” Coffin said. “The race was a sprint, but many schools brought their triathlon teams expecting a longer course. We brought a strong team, allowing us to move through the obstacles more quickly, and Emily and Kim were some of the strongest females in the competition.”

“I thought it was so cool,” Lewis said. “We came together so quickly. I had never met Josh or Kim until we landed in Orlando for the race.”

Coffin took the reins as team captain, helping strengthen the group’s bonds and taking the necessary steps to enter them into the competition.

“It takes everyone on the team to succeed and only one person to fail,” Coffin said. “That is how these type of races work. But we didn’t have a weak link, and we worked extremely well together. We all felt honored to represent our school in such an exciting competition.”

Duff, the parting graduate member of the team, raved about the experience. She had played competitive sports all her life, and this challenge was up to par.

“Hands down, the experience competing in BattleFrog would be rated 12 out of 10,” Duff said. “I played soccer for Ole Miss and have been an athlete my whole life. Competing in BattleFrog ESPN College Championships brought back that same satisfying feeling of competing as a team working and giving your all towards the same goal for our university that we care about and love so much.”