Edwards Earns All-America Honors
May 29, 2002
Baton Rouge, LA - Sophomore Aundre Edwards earned All-America honors with a fifth place finish in the long jump, highlighting the TCU Flyin' Frogs efforts in the first day of the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held at the Bernie Moore Stadium on the LSU campus Wednesday.
Edwards, a product of Wolmer's Boys High School in Kingston, Jamaica, recorded a mark of 7.85 meters or 25 feet, 9 1/4 inches on his second jump of the meet. LSU's Walter Davis won the contest with a best jump of 8.08 meters (26-6.25). Edwards' freshman teammate Cleavon Dillon, who finished fourth at the national indoor meet in March, did not fare as well, as he did not advance to the finals in the competition and placed 20th overall.
"I could have done better, but I'm very happy with my performance," said Edwards, who couldn't supress a smile. "It was my personal best mark without being wind-aided. My last jump may have been even better, but I was just a little over the line. Cleavon's hamstring was bothering him," added Edwards. "That affected his jumping today."
"I just couldn't get any speed going down the runway because of my hamstring," said a dejected Dillon.
"It was an excellent performance for Aundre," said TCU Head Coach Monte Stratton. "It's a breakthrough for him at the national level and, since he's only a sophomore, we can hope for further national accomplishments from him over the next two years. I was disappointed for Cleavon," continued the Frogs' coach. "I knew the hamstring was bothering him. It kept him from being as effective as he would have been. The best thing about him is he's a freshman and has three more years."
The Frogs also got a strong performance from the women's 4x100 meter relay unit. The quartet of La' Toya White, Chaunte Baldwin, Tiffany Starts and Monica Twum circled the track in 44.36 seconds, advancing to Friday's finals with the fifth-best time.
"I wish it could have been faster, but I'm happy with our performance," said Twum. "We were able to get the baton around the track and get into the finals. That was the goal for today."
"Our exchanges went really well - the spacing was good," noted Baldwin. "You have to have four good legs at this level. I think we can contend with anybody."
Unfortunately, things did not go so well on the men's side in the sprint relay.
Senior Steve Slowly, running the leadoff leg, suddenly pulled up, grabbing his left hamstring about 50 meters into the race, and the Frogs' hopes to defend their national title were dashed. Slowly initially injured the hamstring at the Penn Relays and did not run at the Conference USA Championships.
"Same song, different verse," lamented Stratton. "Both Steve Slowly and the coaching staff thought he was completely recovered from the injury. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Disappointment is all that describes it. I could second-guess myself forever. We had Edwards or (Kimton) Coleman who could have run it and done a fine job. That's how confident I felt about Steve's health. He was able to practice at full speed. I guess practice speed and running in a meet are two different things."
In the only other event featuring a TCU athlete on Wednesday, Jermaine Joseph posted a 20.81 time in the 200 meter prelims, placing 10th in the event. The top nine runners advanced to the finals.
The Frogs will be represented in the 100 meter dash prelims when they take the track on Thursday. C-USA Male Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year Michael Frater will look to advance on the men's side, while junior Monica Twum will get into the starting blocks on the women's side. Junior quartermiler Terrance McBryde will also make his NCAA debut in the 400 prelims on Thursday.
200-Meter Prelims: 10. Jermaine Joseph 20.81.