Flyin' Frogs Place Eighth at NCAA Indoor Championships
March 13, 2004
Fayetteville, Arkansas - The TCU Flyin' Frogs put together four strong performances to place eighth in the team standings, the third highest finish in school history, as the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships came to a close today. The meet was held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
On Saturday, the Frogs got a second place finish from Jerry Harris in the 400, a fourth place finish from Jackson Langat in the 800, a fifth place finish from Jabari Fields in the 60 and an eighth place finish from the 4x400 meter relay team, to go with Aundre Edwards third place finish in Friday's long jump, to score 24 points. LSU took the team title with 44.5 points, followed by Arkansas and Florida with 38 points each. For TCU, it was the third top-10 indoor finish in school history, behind only the second place finish in 2001 (33 points) and the fourth place finish in 2000 (34 points). The Frogs tied for 13th a year ago with 16 points.
"Overall it was a very good meet for us," said TCU head coach Monte Stratton. "It's a credit to the guys who were here that they stepped up and performed to their capabilities on the national level. I'm very pleased with our performance."
Harris, who entered the meet with the best 400 meter time in the world this season at 45.52 seconds, took the silver medal by matching that time in the 400 finals. Baylor's Jeremy Wariner took the gold medal with a time of 45.39, the top mark in the world this year. Harris, a senior from Alexandria, Virginia, turned in the fastest time in the prelims, running a 46.06 on Friday. He placed 10th at the indoor national championships a year ago with a time of 46.45.
"It was not good enough," said a disappointed Harris. "My plan was to beat (Wariner) to the break, but he beat me to the break. After that I got boxed in a little and had to wait until something opened up, and it didn't open up until it was too late."
Langat, who entered the meet with the nation's fastest time in the 800 meters at 1:46.09, placed fourth with a time of 1:48.37, earning five team points. Langat was caught in the middle of the pack for much of the race and was actually bumped off the track around the final curve, but was able to recover for a strong finish. The junior from Kericho, Kenya, finished sixth at both the NCAA indoor (1:48.50) and outdoor (1:47.53) championships a year ago, but has been bothered by a slight groin injury over the past couple of weeks. He entered the finals with the eighth fastest time from the prelims, running a 1:48.75 on Friday. Michigan's Nate Brannen defending his indoor title with a winning time of 1:47.61.
"I am happy because I got fourth this time," said Langat. "I was pushed on the final curve and I lost control. When that happened, it affected me and (my injury) starting hurting. What I got, I'm happy about."
Jabari Fields, a senior from San Bernardino, California, placed a suprising fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.70 seconds. He entered the finals with the eighth fastest time from the prelims, logging a 6.72 mark on Friday, making the final round by just six one-thousandths of a second. Oklahoma's DaBryan Blanton took the gold medal in 6.59 seconds.
"The 60 is not really my race," said Fields. "I'll take that."
The Frogs' 4x400-meter relay team of Brett Wilson, Dwayne Lynes-Bell, Che Chavez and Harris posted an eighth place finish with a time of 3:09.06. Baylor won the event in 3:03.96. TCU earned the silver medal in the 4x4 at last year's indoor championships.
TCU RESULTS (Saturday):
60-meter dash: 5. Jabari Fields 6.70
400-meter dash: 2. Jerry Harris 45.52
800-meter run: 4. Jackson Langat 1:48.37
TCU RESULTS (Friday):
Long Jump: 3. Aundre Edwards 7.97m (26-01.75) (School Record)