More records for St John’s Frederick

As its basketball team continues their full court press, St. John’s star track and field athlete is running circles around the competition and vaulting over records.

Priscilla Frederick, a senior at St. John’s, was recently named the Big East Field Athlete of the Week – a distinction she gained after breaking the school’s high-jump record with a 25 point performance. This marks the second time Frederick has been honored this year.

Frederick, a New Jersey native, scored 3,612 points to win the pentathlon, taking first place in the high jump, long jump, shot put and 55-meter hurdles and placing fourth in the 800-meter race. Her point total marked a personal-best performance and currently ranks first in the Big East Conference.

Racking up records and competing in an array of events isn’t easy, but Frederick believes focus and balance can make even the toughest achievements possible.

“Staying focused and balancing sports and school takes discipline,” said Frederick. “I learned over the years that you have to be mature about your sport. And I’ve found that I have to say no to people. I know that if I work hard now, I can have fun later.”

After college, Frederick plans to take her athleticism to the next level – the Olympics. She’s currently training for the 2012 London Games and knows that she has the talents to compete with the best from around the world.

“I’ve competed against Olympic women before – they’re down to earth and they warm up just like everybody else,” she said. “But their drive to win is so much stronger. That’s what intimidates me. But I’m in it to win it and I’m going to give it my all.”

The high-jumping athlete needed help staying on track as a young woman, and it was her mother, a single-parent, who guided her to where she is today. She also enlists the help of coaches and friends to act as her support system.

Helping is a two-way track, and Frederick knows that she has a responsibility to be a positive role model for younger, aspiring athletes. When she was in high school, Frederick did not take sports as seriously as she wishes she had. Now, she has to work extra hard to make up for her lost time – something she wants to help the next generation avoid.

“I skipped almost every practice in high school. I was busy dancing and doing musical theater, so I wasn’t really interested in track,” she said. “I face the consequences of that now, and that is what I teach the girls – that if they stay focused, it will help in the long run.”


More from Around New York