Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seattle sports and entertainment personalities unite to support Norris Frederick's dream of Olympic glory...

SEATTLE--What Seattle track and field athlete can pull together some of the area's leading sports and entertainment personalities, and gather 200 or so of his closest friends together for an evening of fun, and oh by the way, raise money to defray some of his training expenses in the run up to next month's US Olympic Trials in Eugene?

Norris Frederick (center, with from left:  Paul Merca, Kam Chancellor, Phillip Lomax, and Roy Lewis/James Van Wyck photo).

The former University of Washington and Roosevelt HS long jumper, fresh off of winning two competitions at the Tuscon Elite meet in Arizona, brought in to MAKERS in downtown Seattle, former Husky football standouts Roy Lewis, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, and Victor Aiyewa, and Greg Lewis, along with the Seahawks' Kam Chancellor; members of the Seattle Mist Lingerie Football League team; and Olympic Trials qualifiers Mike Sayenko and Jason Colwick, along with several of Frederick's training partners, along with former teammates to mingle and meet many of Norris' friends in support of his quest to make the US Olympic team.

Such is the popularity of Frederick within the Seattle sports community that he enlisted local sports radio personality Dave 'Softy' Mahler to act as host of the event, which included an auction of several autographed sports items

In an era where even elite professional track and field athletes in the United States are struggling to make ends meet, Frederick and his friends took the bull by the horns and created an event using the power of social media to get the word out.

Seattle resident and X-Factor finalist Phillip Lomax performed, including his rendition of Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music", which he sang for the internationally renowned artist in the finals of the X Factor.

Afterwards, Frederick told paulmerca.blogspot.com that he will compete next at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic in Burnaby on June 10th.

Frederick, who does not have the Olympic A standard in the long jump of 26-11 (8.20m), isn't too concerned about getting the standard, noting that it will take that much to be in position to make the team next month, and isn't chasing marks in the lead in to the Trials.

The Washington alum was appreciative of the gathering of friends and supporters who assembled to help in his efforts to make the team.

PATTERSON IN ROME FOR COMPEED GOLDEN GALA THURSDAY

Vancouver's Kara Patterson will throw the javelin at Thursday's stop of the Samsung Diamond League series of meets, the Compeed Golden Gala at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The four-time US national champion will face off against reigning Olympic champ Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic; world champ Mariya Abakumova of Russia, Christina Obergfoll of Germany, and Sunette Viljoen of South Africa.

Marysville's Jarred Rome is entered in the men's discus, where he'll face current Samsung Diamond League points leader Piotr Malachowski of Poland, along with Gerd Kanter of Estonia and Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania.

Former Husky Ingvill MÃ¥kestad Bovin, a finalist at last year's world championships in Daegu will contest the 1500.

UniversalSports.com will have live online coverage (pay-per-view) of the meet starting at 9 am, pacific.

The start lists for the Compeed Golden Gala are available here.

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