Sophomore Priscilla Frederick was the lone St. John’s University athlete sent to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held in College Station, Texas over the weekend. Her appearance continues the University’s dominant streak of 19 straight years of having an athlete compete at the event.
Frederick, coming off an impressive sixth-place showing at the USA Track and Field Indoor Nationals, was the youngest athlete in the high jump and placed 14th.
She faced such familiar competition as Connecticut’s Carin Knight, and placed just one spot behind Rachel Gehret of Louisville.
As it did in the Big East Championships, Frederick’s score caught her in a tie, once again not ruling in her favor. Because it took her two tries to clear at a height of 1.75 meters, she was awarded 14th place, along with Kelly McNamee of the University of Washington.
Spots 11 through 16 were decided based on misses, as all finished with a height of 1.75 m, but Kristen Meister of California and Dess Meek of Sam Houston State edged out the others because they cleared the bar on their first tries at heights of 1.70 and 1.75 meters.
“Priscilla’s indoor season was a coach’s dream, as she improved three inches and consistently competed at a high level each and every week,” said head coach Jim Hurt of his star sophomore.
Frederick comes away from the indoor season with four wins, including a Metropolitan Championship, and six top-ten placements. Her efforts also earned All-Big East and All-ECAC honors.
With the outdoor season looming, and far fewer meets close to home, the expectations for Frederick continue to rise.
“We have talked about Priscilla’s future. We are going to focus on the high jump the remainder of this year – outdoor NCAAs and USA Nationals, which is the qualifying meet for the World Championship,” Hurt said. “Her 5′ 11 Ω” jump is 12th best in the country, so we hope to go higher outdoors and compete for a World Championship spot if possible.”
Being among the best high jumpers in the nation, Frederick could easily claim that spot on the national team if she continues to improve as she has in her first two years competing for the Red Storm.
As she prepares for the nation’s elite competition in the high jump, she will also continue to be integrated into the pentathlon when possible.