CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami track and field program is back in action this weekend at the Miami Invitational.
A week after kicking off their outdoor season at the Hurricane Invitational, the Hurricanes will host several Florida schools at Cobb Stadium for a one-day meet. The Miami Invitational is the second of three home meets on Miami’s outdoor schedule, joining last week’s Hurricane Invitational and the Hurricane Alumni Invitational on April 13.
“I was really pleased with the way we started last week,” said Miami director of track and field and cross country, Amy Deem. “I thought we had some really good performances. I thought we were aggressive as a team, so it was a good opening meet for us. We’re getting ready for our ACC outdoor meet in a month. That’s the focus right now, to have some good training weeks. We have a small competition this week and it’s nice to be home and run in front of our fans and our families.”
The Hurricane women will have All-American Samantha Williams back in action after a week off. Williams, who competed in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships two weeks ago, will compete in the long jump and triple jump for Miami.
“She was focused on NCAAs and now she is back training and getting ready for outdoors,” Deem said. “She is sore form getting back in the weight room but it will be good to get her on the runway and helping her achieve the goals that she set.”
Alyssa McClure and Alaine Tate will be two women to watch on the track for the Canes. McClure, who placed third in the women's 100m dash with a time of 11.7 seconds last week, will compete in the 200m and 400m runs. Tate will run the women’s 1500m and be part of Miami’s 4x400m relay team that will try to improve off their time of 3:40.85 from a week ago.
“Alyssa and I both agreed that it wasn’t the cleanest race for her,” Deem said. “But it was a good opener for her. I think she realizes when she puts together a complete race she is going to be happy with the time.”
Jamika Glades is another athlete to watch for the Hurricane women. The freshman broke 14 seconds a week ago in the 100m high hurdles, setting a personal best. Glades will look to improve on that time this weekend, as well as shine in the 400m intermediate hurdles and the women’s 4x100m relay.
“We had a video session yesterday and I think we can correct a couple of things and see a big improvement,” Deem said. “When we were recruiting her last year, every meet she was trying to break 14 seconds. For her to come out and do it in her first meet and still see room for improvement is great. I think it’s just the beginning of what will be a successful outdoor season for her.”
Miami’s men will look for another big performance from standout thrower Isaiah Simmons. The redshirt freshman dominated his first outdoor meet, winning the shot put, discus and hammer throw. Simmons set Miami records in shot put (60’ 4”) and hammer throw (168’ 10”) and ranking second in school history in discus ( 166’ 8”).
“Isaiah is getting better every week,” Deem said. “It’s good to see his success continue into outdoors. We’re excited for our throws program and look for big things from Lea [Johnson] and Amber [Monroe], as well.”
Senior Greg Kaczka will look for another strong performance in the men’s 800m. Kaczka was the high finisher among collegians in the men's 800m, placing third with a time of 1:54.11. Sophomore Douglas Dourado placed seventh in the event, finishing in 1:55.26. Both times were personal bests for Kaczka and Dourado.
“He’s another one that keeps getting better” Deem said of Kaczka. “It’s his final year so he’s having fun and running well. It’s fun to watch.”
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