Freriks and Blair set school records in Chandler
It took 35 years, but it happened. Tim Freriks broke the Mingus Union school record for the 3200-meter run with a time of 9:17.34, besting Mike McFadden's record set in 1974. The record-setting race for Freriks took place at the Chandler Rotary Invite on Saturday.
Three Mingus track athletes competed in the Invite, which the biggest meet in AZ. The general meet was on Friday, but Saturday was for seeding, where the best individuals in State were entered.
The seeding part of the meet gave seniors Tim Freriks, Carly Blair and junior Wilson Cutbirth a chance to go down and compete against the best the state has to offer.
Coach Jim Bostwick, the track team's distance coach had three goals, each to come back with a career best in their event, and all three runners succeeded. Goal No. 2 was to get a state qualifier - Freriks did in the 3200-meter run. The third accomplishment was two school records, besting some times that have stood for years.
First Cutbirth finished 9th in the 3200-meter run in field of 42 with time of 9:43, just missing the state qualifying time of 9:41, but beat his best time ever by eight seconds. As a side note, Cutbirth still has the top time in 2000-meter steeplechase event in the state so far in 2009.
Taking 1st in the 3200 was Cutbirth's training partner for the last three years, Tim Freriks in 9:17:34 breaking the school record of 9:26.70 set in 1974 by the State Champ that year Mike McFadden, coached by longtime Mingus coach John O'Donnell. According to Milespilt.com, Freriks' is ranked No. 2 in the State, behind Queen Creek's Sherod Hardt (9:15.50). Freriks' time also makes him a US First Team Elite Runner. Athletes have to run under 9:20.00 to be considered the elite. Hardt and Freriks are the only two under this mark in Arizona, so far this season.
Earlier in the day senior Carly Blair finished third in her heat of the 300-meter low hurdles in 49.22, besting the mark set in 1985 of 49.3 by Brandy Baker, also coached by Mr. O'Donnell.
"The fact that these records have stood the test of more than 20 years is an amazing testament to the former record holders and indirectly Mike and Brandy have driven Tim and Carly through many a practices over the past year," said coach Bostwick. "As the school record was something they both have had for goals the past two years. I am extremely proud of these two seniors as both these two kids have done both cross country and track for four straight years in order to mature into the athletes they are, hopefully these marks will be even lower by the end of the season with the same names attached to them. "