June 7, 2007
Washington junior Norris Frederick captured his fifth-career All-America honor with a third-place finish in the long jump Thursday, highlighting another busy day of action for Washington's track and field teams at the 2007 NCAA Championships in Sacramento.
The four-day meet, featuring 12 Husky athletes, continues through Saturday at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.
The national leader in the event, Frederick topped the 25-foot mark on his second attempt, clearing 25-0 ½ into a significant headwind to move into third place in the competition, two inches behind co-leaders Dashalle Andrews of Cal State Northridge and Tone Belt of Louisville.
Despite being shorter than any NCAA-winning mark since 1966, however, the tandem's 25-foot, 2 ½-inch effort held up through the final four rounds of competition, as the strong headwinds conspired to shorten jumps for each of the finals competitors. Both Andrews and Belt finished with the same mark, but Andrews was declared the champion by virtue of a longer second-best attempt.
"The wind was affecting everyone out there," Frederick said afterward. "But I've jumped far in wind before. I really felt coming in that I was the best jumper out there - I had the best mark, my knee was feeling great, and I saw myself walking out of here with that trophy. Obviously, that didn't happen, but it's an experience I'll just have to learn from."
Frederick's third-place finish was in fact his highest in five-career NCAA Championships appearances in the long jump, and the highest by any UW long jumper since former American record-holder Phil Shinnick placed third in the broad jump in 1964.
The Roosevelt High School graduate also earned his fifth-career All-America honor with the finish, a total bettered by just four others - Ja'Warren Hooker (10), Ryan Brown (8), Scott Neilson (7) and Rick Noji (5) - in UW history.
"It's better than I've ever done before, so that's cool," he said, "but I wanted to win. I'll definitely remember this feeling of how close I was, and use it as motivation next year."
Frederick was one of seven Huskies in action Thursday, and the only one competing in a final.
The day's qualifying rounds were successful for senior Ryan Brown and junior James Fredrickson, who advanced in the 800 meters and 400-meter hurdles, respectively. Brown, the reigning NCAA champion in the event, will run in a loaded 800-meter final on Saturday (10:19 a.m., CBS-TV) featuring 2007 NCAA indoor runner-up Andrew Ellerton of Michigan, as well as 2007 Pac-10 and West Regional runner-up Duane Solomon of USC. Fredrickson, who easily advanced out of his preliminary heat of the hurdles with a time of 51.12 seconds, will run in a semi-final round Friday (6:40 p.m., CSTV).
"Ryan looked good today, he's ready to go," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "The challenge at nationals is just to take it one heat at a time, and focus solely on advancing, which he's done well this week. Now that he's in the final, he can let it all go and run his race. It's certainly a good field, and is going to be a great race."
The day was less successful for junior Amanda Miller and the 4x400-meter relay squad of sophomore Kyle Still, freshman Jeff Gudaitis and juniors James Fredrickson and Alex Harcourt, both of which concluded their 2007 NCAA Championships competition in semifinal rounds Thursday.
Miller, an All-American in the mile indoors in March, came just .01 of a second from a spot in Saturday's final after passing five runners down the homestretch and leaning in vain at the finish line to catch a sixth.
Washington's coaches also learned Thursday afternoon that their appeal of junior Carl Moe's disqualification from last night's steeplechase preliminary had been denied, due to a lack of sufficient video evidence to overturn the call on the field. Moe had initially been posted as a finals qualifier with a time of 8:41.45 - a significant lifetime best and a USA Championships qualifier - before the NCAA re-posted results over an hour later indicating Moe's disqualification.
"It's too bad for Carl, because he's worked really hard and I think would have had a chance to be competitive in the final," Metcalf said. "But, we'll just have to focus instead on getting back here next year and taking another shot at it. If he keeps on improving at the rate he has been the last couple of months, he could have a shot at doing something really special in this race next year."
Washington will have five athletes in action on Friday, including finals competition by hammer thrower Martin Bingisser, hurdler Ashley Lodree and pole vaulter Scott Roth. Both Lodree and Roth's events will be part of CSTV's live-televised broadcast from the meet, scheduled to run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Pacific.
For links to live results, a live event blog and daily photo galleries from the NCAA Championships, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
NCAA Track and Field Championships
Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex; Sacramento, Calif.
June 6-9, 2007
Men's Results (UW Only) - 400m Hurdles (Prelim, Heat 5 of 5): 2. James Fredrickson, 51.12Q; 800m Run (Semi, Heat 1 of 2): 3. Ryan Brown, 1:48.41; 4x400m Relay (Semi, Heat 1 of 2): 6. Washington (Still/Gudaitis/Fredrickson//Harcourt), 3:11.05; Long Jump (Final): 3. Norris Frederick, 25-0 ½.
Women's Results (UW Only) - 1,500m Run (Semi, Heat 1 of 2): 5. Amanda Miller, 4:20.58.