April 17, 2005 -- UPDATED 4/17/05, 9:32 p.m.
WALNUT, Calif. - Husky freshman Norris Frederick moved into the top-10 of the national collegiate rankings and set a UW freshman record Sunday, clearing 25 feet 3 ¼ inches to place fourth in the invitational men's long jump at the 47th Annual Mt. SAC Relays.
Frederick's mark, tops in the nation by a collegiate freshman this year, is the fourth-best outdoor mark in UW history, and broke by two inches the Washington freshman record of 25-1 ¾ set by New Zealander Grant Birkinshaw in 1972. The mark is the second UW freshman record to fall in the Huskies' three days of competition at Mt. SAC, including a freshman-record performance by Chehalis native Austin Abbott in Friday's 1,500 meters.
Both Frederick, a 2004 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, and Abbott earned All-America honors at last month's NCAA Indoor Championships, with Frederick placing sixth in the men's long jump. Sunday's jump puts Frederick 10th on the national performance list, and ranks third overall among those athletes qualified for May's NCAA West Regional Championships, for which the talented frosh is also qualified in the high jump. Frederick placed sixth in Sunday's collegiate high jump finals at Mt. SAC, his best of 6-9 ¾ an inch shy of his outdoor season best.
The 19-year-old Frederick was a seven-time prep All-American at Roosevelt, where he became the first state prep ever to long jump 24 feet and high jump seven feet in the same season, doing so in 2004.
"Having had so much success at Roosevelt -- literally just up the street from our campus -- there was a lot of buzz when Norris decided to come to Washington, and I think a lot of expectations were placed upon his shoulders," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "That can be a lot for an 18-year-old kid to handle, but Norris has really shown his maturity this year with his ability not only to handle that kind of pressure, but to thrive upon it and have what is becoming one of the greatest freshman years ever by a Husky jumper."
Frederick wasn't the only Husky climbing the record books at Mt. SAC on Sunday. Junior All-American Ashley Wildhaber climbed into a tie for seventh in the 2005 NCAA rankings with a vault of 13-5 1/4 -- the second-best ever outdoors by a UW vaulter -- while sophomore Stevie Marshalek became the fourth Husky vaulter to qualify for NCAA West Regional competition with a clearance at 12-5 1/2. Senior Kate Soma also competed Sunday, her clearance of 13-5 1/4 well shy of her season-best of 14-0, while senior Grace Vela ran in preliminary heats of the 100-meter hurdles.
Washington's track and field teams, which separated for competition this weekend at Mt. SAC and at Saturday's Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., will reunite next week in Eugene for the Oregon Invitational, before returning home for the annual UW-Washington State dual meet on Apr. 30.
For complete results from this weekend's Mt. SAC Relays, visit http://relays.mtsac.edu/2005/indexUO.htm.