Mingus' Tim Freriks clocks scintillating 8:58 for 3,200 meters in California meet
ARCADIA, Calif. - Mingus Union senior Tim Freriks turned in one of the most historically significant times in Arizona high school track and field history Saturday in the prestigious Arcadia Invitational.
Freriks became only the fourth Arizona prepster ever to run 3,200 meters in less than 9 minutes with an 8:58.71 clocking over the distance that is roughly equivalent to 2-miles.
Freriks finished second in the race to Collin Jarvis of Rancho Buena Vista in California. Jarvis finished 56-hundredths of a second ahead of Freriks. Nathan Mathabane of Lincoln (Ore.) was third in 8:59.96.
The race placed Jarvis and Freriks in the top two slots in the nation for 3,200 meters this year, according to milesplits.com.
For Freriks, he said he knew he was in a special race when he crossed the first mile in 4-minutes, 31-seconds. "I felt good and I knew I could work off that pace," said the Mingus senior who will attend Northern Arizona University next year. "I wanted to run in the low-9 minutes. With one lap to go I heard 7:50 so I thought I had a good shot, but more than anything else I was just trying to win."
Tuesday morning, three days after the race, Freriks said the significance of the race was just sinking in.
"It's kind of overwhelming," said Freriks, who now has the third fastest 3,200 time in Arizona history (Greenway's Jeff Canada ran 8:50.24 in 1984) and the second-best time in the United States this year.
"It's something I've been working at for four years. When I look at some of the names of the people who have gone under 9-minutes in high school and know what they went on to do later in college, it's very encouraging. I want to have a good career in college."
Those runners include the likes of Gerry Lindgren and Steve Prefontaine, two of the most legendary high school runners ever. Running for Rogers Spokane, Wash., high school, Lindgren set national records in 1964 that still stand, including the indoor 2 mile record (8:40.0). The current record is 8:34.40 by German Fernandez of California. The deceased Prefontaine, of Coos Bay, Ore., ran 8:41.5 in 1969. The high school national record for 3,200-meters is 8:41.10 by Dathan Ritzenhein, Rockford, Mich., in 2000.
For Freriks, the evolution of his sub-9-minute race began with a 9:48 clocking as a freshman.
"That was my first big goal," remembers Freriks, "to break 10-minutes as a freshman."
He followed that up with personal records of 9:38 as a sophomore and 9:36 as a junior.
The significant improvement this spring, said Freriks, has been the result of "keeping doing what I've always been doing and being patient. My body developed in the past year, and my foot-speed has improved. Saturday I closed in 2:08 (for the final 800 meters) and 63 (seconds for the final quarter-mile)."
His focus now, he says, is on the upcoming state championships in May. "I just want to get a state title," he says.
In the state meet, he will run three races: the 4-by-800 relay, 1,600 meters and the 3,200 meters.
Freriks has a 4:19 mark this year at 1,600-meters and has his sights set on the 4:15 school record clocking set by Marc Marquez, who won a state championship at the distance in 1993.