Frater, Langat Advance to Saturday's National Finals
March 14, 2003
TCU's 60-meter sprinter Michael Frater and 800-meter specialist Jackson Langat each turned in strong preliminary performances to advance to Saturday's finals, highlighting the Flyin' Frogs efforts on Day One of the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus Friday evening.
Frater matched his personal best mark with a time of 6.64 seconds in the 60-meter dash prelims and will take the sixth fastest time into Saturday's finals. Running in lane four in the second of the three preliminary heats, the TCU sprinter had to regroup after Tennessee's Sean Lambert, running in lane five, false started. As in typical Frater fashion, the junior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida gave up several meters early in the race before closing with a late burst to finish second in his heat.
"It felt pretty good," said Frater, who finished 11th in this event a year ago. "After the false start, I think I got a little too relaxed. My start scared me. If I can stay a little closer (early in the race), I think I'll be ok. It equalled my personal best, but I think I have a better one in me for tomorrow."
Langat, the Conference USA Male Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year, easily advanced to Saturday's final in the 800 meters by finishing second in his heat with a school record time of 1:48.36. It was the third time he has lowered the school record this season.
"It was good," said Langat. "My coaches said the guy from Alabama (Peter Etoot, who entered the meet with the fastest time) was good, so I tried to stay with him. He started to fall back, so I had to take the lead. I still had something left at the end (when he was edged at the tape by Penn's Sam Burley), but I knew the top two from the heat advanced to the finals. Tomorrow's final will be really tough," continued Langat. "I ran against (South Carolina's Otukile) Lekote (who logged the fastest prelim time of 1:47.70) in China. He's very good. In China, he was second and I was fourth. We're going to see tomorrow. I'm not scared of him," he added.
In the only finals involving a TCU athlete on Friday, junior long jumper Aundre Edwards could muster no better than a best jump of 7.59 meters (24-11.00) and placed a disappointing 11th. Edwards, who was the Conference USA indoor long jump champion, entered the meet with a season-best mark of 7.87 meters (25-10.00) and had not jumped under 25 feet in any previous meet this season.
"I fouled on the first jump," Edwards explained. "The second jump was a "safe" jump to get a mark. I don't know what happened on the last jump. I think I was two feet behind the board."
In other action involving the Flyin' Frogs, senior sprinter Monica Twum tied her school record set in Ames last March, by turning in a time of 7.33 seconds in the 60-meter dash, but placed 10th overall and did not qualify for Saturday's finals. Jerry Harris logged a time of 46.45 in the 400-meter dash to finish 10th in the prelims. Freshman Donita Harmon recorded a time of 23.73 in the 200 meter dash to place 16th overall.
"We had a mixed bag today - some good, some not so good," said TCU head coach Monte Stratton. "Jackson and Michael advanced to the finals. Monica ran well, it just wasn't good enough. Aundre just didn't have a good day. Donita gained some experience, which will help her during the outdoor season."
In addition to Frater and Langat competing on Saturday, the Frogs will be represented by senior Brandal Lawrence in the triple jump and by the men's 4x400 meter relay team, which features Brandon Simpson, Langat, Jabari Fields and Harris. That quartet enters the meet with the nation's fourth fastest time.
TCU RESULTS (FRIDAY):
Long Jump (Men): 11. Aundre Edwards 24-11.00.
60-meter Dash (Men): 6. Michael Frater 6.64 (Advanced to finals; ties personal record).
60-meter Dash (Women): 10. Monica Twum 7.33 (Ties school record and personal record).
200-meter Dash (Women): 16. Donita Harmon 23.73.
400-meter Dash (Men): 10. Jerry Harris 46.45.
800-meter Run (Men): 7. Jackson Langat 1:48.36 (Advanced to finals; sets school record and personal record).