Track & field: Penn State graduate Bridget Franek 14th at U.S. Championships

Bridget Franek did not have a happy return to the U.S. Track and Field Championships.

The 2010 Penn State graduate was among the favorites the 3,000-meter steeplechase Saturday at Drake Stadium, but ended up 12th and will not be running at the World Championships in Moscow.

Franek, a finalist in the event at last year’s Olympics who now runs for the Nike-Oregon Track Club Elite, had been running in the top three for several laps and was still third with two laps left, but a bad jump on the next-to-last water hurdle started a gradual fade from contention to 12th out of 14 runners. Her time of 10 minutes, 17.41 seconds was more than a half-minute off the winning time and her personal best as the runners endured a temperature of 102 degrees as the event began.

Franek entered the meet with the third-fastest time in the U.S. this year. She was attempting to make the field for the World Championships, set for August in Moscow, for a third straight time.

Two current Nittany Lions also were competing in the junior national championships. Michael Shuey was sixth in the javelin at 200 feet, 3 inches. Rachel Fatherly was 16th in the discus at 134-1.