By David Villavicencio
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Freshmen typically go through an adjustment period.
Miami's John-Patrick Friday is no different. The 6-foot-1 jumper spent most of his first indoor track & field season getting adjusted.
"It is harder," Friday said of collegiate track. "It is stressful on the body. I have not hit where I wanted to hit, but I am sure I will."
Friday improved over the course of the indoor season and finished strong, placing fifth in the men's triple jump at the ACC Indoor Championships.
"It took a while to get comfortable," Friday said. "The last meet was when I finally got the hang of it."
The Orlando, Fla. native, believes working with Miami jumps coach Gavin O'Neal has helped him improve tremendously over the course of his first collegiate season.
"I have gotten a lot stronger," Friday said. "I feel like I have gotten faster, as well, but I feel like I have a long way to go before I reach the strength that I want to reach. "
Friday competes in the triple jump, high jump and long jump for Miami and he has set lofty goals for his collegiate career.
"I would like to bring the ACC triple jump record to the school," Friday said. "I just want to be one of those triple threats in all three jumps: long, triple and high jump. I want to go to nationals for all three."
Originally a basketball player in high school, Friday began competing in track and field at the urging of his high school track coach.
"My sophomore year, I was playing basketball and some of the people that were on the track team told the coach that I could jump," Friday said. "The track coach came to a basketball game and said, 'You are really springy. You should probably come out for track. You might have a future in it.' My sophomore I did not have many good results, but I enjoyed it. I came out junior year and realized that I could see myself doing it in college."
After competing indoors for the first time in his career, Friday is looking forward to the start of outdoor season.
"I know outdoor," Friday said. "Indoor was definitely something new. I never did indoor before, so when I got there it was a new experience. I was looking around like, 'wow, this is a big deal.' Indoor is different jumping because outdoors you have the wind going with you and the heat to deal with. It is just totally different."
Friday is excited for his first outdoor season as a Hurricane. He hopes this will be the start of a very successful career at Miami.
"Now that I know exactly how I am supposed to jump indoors, combined with knowing how to jump outdoors, I am really excited about the future, Friday said. I am looking forward to the next few years."