Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UNF's Frazier Wins before She Stumbles; Lightheadedness Follows 400-Meter Heat; She'll Run for Nationals Today

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UNF's Frazier Wins before She Stumbles; Lightheadedness Follows 400-Meter Heat; She'll Run for Nationals Today

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott

North Florida's Brianna Frazier overcame lightheadedness and the urge to throw up to win her heat in the women's 400-meter race Thursday in the first day of competition in the NCAA Track and Field Championship East preliminaries at the University of North Florida.

Frazier came into the meet with the sixth-fastest time among 400-meter entries from schools east of the Mississippi River. The former Raines standout had the fastest time in her heat, enabling her to automatically qualify for today's quarterfinals.

She made up the staggered start by the first curve and at the 200-meter mark had a 10-meter lead over everyone. Several runners eventually narrowed the gap on her, but her time of 52.86 was 0.1 seconds better than the runner-up and nearly a second faster than the next two finishers.

But when Frazier crossed the line, she stumbled a few steps before dropping to her hands and knees and eventually lying on the track. She was assisted to the medical tent, where she received aid from a trainer, including having ice bags taped to her hamstrings.

"I've never had this feeling before. I was feeling a little sick before the race, but I had to push through it," said the sophomore who set school records in the 100, 200 and 400 this year. "It wasn't nerves. I usually don't get nervous. I think it's more of an adrenaline rush. I actually felt lightheaded, like I had to throw up.

"I'm glad I won, even though I wasn't close to a PR or anything like that. But you don't need that in the preliminaries. Things will be tougher tomorrow."

Frazier will compete in the next round of the 400, with the top three finishers in each of three heats and the next three fastest times all advancing to the NCAA meet in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 6-9. She's also entered in the 200 meters today and will run in the preliminaries about two hours after her 400 race.

Frazier's mom, who is also a UNF assistant track coach, was surprised by her daughter's illness.

"I made sure she ate today, and she didn't say anything about not feeling well when I talked to her before her warmup," Le'Titia Silas said. "I know sometimes the excitement of a race can get to her. …

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