June 8, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - The TCU men's track and field program posted three top-seven showing Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Cameron Parker finished fifth in the triple jump while the 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads each finished seventh. The Horned Frogs men ended up tied for 12th in the team standings with 18 points.
"We are excited that we were able to finish 12th," TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. "The men finished last at the Big 12 Indoor meet, by a lot. The turnaround that has been executed during the outdoor season has been terrific. Everyone that came to Eugene was successful, and we will return a lot of first-team All-Americans next year."
The week-long effort, with Charles Silmon's NCAA title in the 100-meter dash being the peak, marked the 12th time in TCU history that the Horned Frog men have finished the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the top-15. This is the first time the Frogs have made the outdoor top-15 during Anderson's tenure at the helm. This was TCU's highest finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since finishing tied for fourth in 2004.
"We lose Parker and Silmon, but everyone else will be back next year," Anderson commented. "The efforts by our underclassmen this week bodes well for the future of the program."
Parker had his work cut out for him after the first two jumps as a tightly bunched first flight had the TCU senior sitting in seventh with 12 jumpers still to go. He was able to collect himself and post a wind-aided 52-4 (15.95m) to move up to second place in the heat and fourth overall. He was unable to improve on his third jump during his next three efforts, and was dropped to fifth to earn TCU four team points.
"It was a good day for Cameron," Anderson said. "We were hoping he would jump a little further, but he still got the job done. We are still excited that he is the fifth-best jumper in the country. He was a Big 12 champion and All-American, outstanding season. He was a consistent presence all season for us, and we are pleased with how his season went."
Parker became TCU's fourth ever top-eight finisher in the men's triple jump and is the first man to get into the point scoring positions since Jonathan Jackson's third place finish back in 2007.
After stealing the show on Friday by taking the 100-meter dash title, there would be no encore from Charles Silmon on Saturday. The TCU coaching staff made the decision to take him off the second leg of the 4x100-meter relay and not run him in the final of the 200-meter dash. Silmon's last race as a Horned Frog was his NCAA title in the 100-meter dash.
"He was too sore to go," Anderson remarked. "We are being cautious. He has a lot of competition ahead of him with the USA Championships and then potentially the World Championships, or World University Games."
With Silmon out of the equation, that meant Narada Jackson had to be brought in as an emergency substitute. The quartet of Harvey McSwain, Jackson, Ronnie Baker and Raymond Bozmans finished seventh in 39.87. The trio of Baker, Bozmans and McSwain were all freshmen this year and will continue to be staples of the relay for years to come.
"The three freshmen can leave with their heads held high," Anderson stated. "All three performed well, and leave this meet as first-team All-Americans."
To close out the meet, the men's 4x400 relay team had a final chance to add to TCU's collection of team points. The quartet of Joshua Washington, Jackson, Lavon Collins and Baker gave a strong showing, but ended up in seventh in 3:05.37. All four will be back for the Horned Frogs next season.
"The lane assignment (lane eight) didn't impact us," Anderson said. "Josh had his best carry of the year. We didn't get our best runs from our middle two legs. The effort was there, but sometimes you try too hard when all you need to do is relax and run your race. Ronnie ran great again. All four are back next year, and we are only going to get better."
The TCU women's team finished tied for 25th with the 10 team points from Lorraine Ugen's national title in the long jump on Wednesday. This marks the TCU women's program's second-highest ever team finish, only behind when the Frogs were 12th in 1993. TCU was one of 10 programs to have its men's and women's program finish in the top-25.
"I am very excited for the group that was here in Eugene," Anderson concluded. "We finished the week with two winners who are program legends, and when there time comes will be members of the TCU Lettermen's Association Hall of Fame. Charles ended his career on a great note by winning the 100. Lorraine will get to defend her title in the long jump next year and will be one of the top athletes in the country."
Frogs of the past and present will now move on to Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa for the USA Track and Field National Championships and the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships. The competition starts on June 20 and runs through June 23.