July 14, 2011
Whether she’s studying, high-jumping or hiking the mountains of
Panama on a
Vincentian mission, Priscilla Frederick ‘11CPS is driven.
fact, within 24 hours of attending
Graduation Ceremonies in May, the 22 year-old high-jumper
embarked on a two-week mission to Panama, through the University’s
PLUNGE Program. There, she worked with other students on a wide
range of desperately-needed projects that helped the residents of a
rural Panamanian community. “It was the most amazing experience,”
she said. “There was no running water and no electricity, and
despite all this, there was so much love. It really put things into
perspective for me.”
Upon her return to the U.S., she quickly jetted out west to
Eugene, OR, for the annual USA Track & Field Championships.
There, she achieved a season-best high jump of 1.83 meters (6
feet), which earned her a seventh-place finish and her fourth
top-ten USA Track & Field Championship finish in as many years.
“She’s the real deal,” said
Jim Hurt, St. John's Head Track & Field Coach. “She took
two weeks off from training to go to Panama and she was still able
to come right back, get focused and perform.”
Her seventh-place finish in Oregon qualifies her for the pool of
athletes for selection to the USA Team for the 2011 Pan American
Games in Mexico. It also bodes well for Priscilla’s next goal:
qualifying for the Team USA and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
According to Hurt, the three-time All American’s chances of making
the team are quite good. “Her best jumps are still ahead of her, so
she’s got a great shot at the team,” he said.
Priscilla continues to impress, as she just won her first
national title at the USA Track & Field Championship, held July
8-9 at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, NY.
While balancing a steady regimen of academics and athletics
could be a daunting challenge for the student-athlete, Priscilla, a
Mass Communication major takes it all in stride. “I love
multi-tasking,” she said. In fact, when she’s not on the track or
in a classroom, she squeezes in community service work through the
University. “My mom has always taught me to be a giver,” said the
Sicklerville, NJ native. “St. John’s gave me the tools I needed to
Over the course of her four years at St. John’s, Priscilla has
been involved with several
service programs, including Midnight Run, the Soup Kitchen and
Relay for Life. She also mentors eighth graders at a local middle
school in her spare time.
This fall, the potential Olympian will begin her pursuit of a
graduate degree in International Studies at St. John’s and will
jump for the University during the 2012 Outdoor Track & Field
season in the spring. Coach Hurt is looking forward to helping
Priscilla reach her ultimate goal and applauds her for being
so-well rounded. “She’s a great kid and a great student,” he said.
“She also happens to be one of the best athletes in the country.”
Looking ahead to life beyond the Olympics and grad school,
Priscilla is committed to serving the community in one way or
another. “I want to be a positive role model for people,” she said.
“If I have the energy to help others, then I’m going to do
Photography provided by © Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital