Erica McLain's Sensation Freshman Season Ends At World Championships

Aug. 6, 2005

Helsinki, Finland - Erica McLain, a sophomore-to-be at Stanford in the Fall of 2005, is one of the rising stars in national and international track & field competition.

Her record breaking victory at the recent United States National Championships earned her a trip to the IAAF World Track & Field Championships (August 6-14) where she was the youngest athlete (19 years old) on the United States team. Although she had emerged as one of the top, young triple jumpers in the United States and broke the American junior record (14.01 meters) at the 2005 U.S. National Championships, McLain was now competing against the greatest women triple jumpers at the World Championships.

McLain's freshman season at Stanford finally ended on Saturday when she failed to advance from preliminary competition. Competing against 25 other athletes from around the world, McLain's best effort of the day was 13.29 meters on her final jump. That mark was not among the Top 12 marks in the competition. Her first of three jumps was a foul while her second jump was measured at 13.18 meters. The day's best mark was turned in by Hrysopiyi Devetzi of Greece at 14.72 meters. The 12th and final mark to get into the finals was turned in by Kene Ndoye of Senegal at 14.11 meters.

Although McLain was disappointed with her effort, the experience competing against the world's best was beneficial. 'It was really exciting,' said McLain. 'Being the youngest here was really cool. I definitely think I should have done better. I probably had my worst competition in two years. I don't know what it was. It wasn't nerves. I guess it was just an off day.'

McLain, despite her youth, is already considered the greatest women's triple jumper in school history. In her freshman season in 2005, McLain won the USA Senior National Championship with an American junior and school record 14.01 meters, captured the Pac-10 title in both the triple and long jump, finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. McLain earned three All-American honors by finishing second at the Indoor Nationals, third at the Outdoor Nationals, and eighth in the long jump at the Indoor Nationals.

Several former Stanford athletes are also competing at the World Championships. The list includes Jackie Edwards, who will competing in her eighth World Championships in the long jump for her national Bahamas, Lauren Fleshman in the 5,000 meters; Ian Dobson and Ryan Hall in the 5,000 meters; and Toby Stevenson in the pole vault. Fleshman is entered in her second World Championships, and recently ran a 15:02.52 to climb to eighth on the all-time United States list. Dobson recently broke the Stanford school record in the 5,000 meters (13:15.33) at the recent U.S. National Championships. Hall, the 2005 NCAA Outdoor 5,000 meter champion, has a career-best 13:16.03. Stevenson, ranked No. 2 in the world, won the Olympic silver medal last year in Athens.

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