GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Miami track and field program is set for their first road trip of the outdoor season.
The Canes kicked off their outdoor schedule with a pair of home meets, the Hurricane Invitational and Miami Invitational. Following a week off, the Hurricanes will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to compete in the Florida Relays. The Florida Relays are held at Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium on the University of Florida campus.
“We’ve had great practices and two great home meets coming off the NCAA indoor championship meet,” said Miami’s director of track & field and cross country, Amy Deem. “I’m happy where we are. I’m excited for this weekend. It’s going to be great competition so I think we’re ready to go and ready to see where we are going against some of the nation’s best teams.”
Miami’s women will look to build on their early success this outdoor season. Freshman Jamika Glades, who set personal bests in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles at the Miami Invitational, will look to improve on her times in each event this weekend. Glades won both events at the Miami Invitational, finishing the 100m hurdles in 13.83 seconds and the 400m hurdles in 58.95 seconds.
“She got a lot of confidence out of the last race,” Deem said of Glades. “She got two personal bests, so she’s excited about what she can do. She’s a Fort Lauderdale kid so for her Florida Relays is good but she’s really looking forward to ACCs and seeing what she can do.”
Senior Samantha Williams is looking to excel at her final Florida Relays. The All-American will compete in both the long jump and triple jump this weekend. Sophomore throwers Amber Monroe and Lea Johnson will also look to make a name for themselves. Monroe will compete in the shot put and discus, while Johnson will participate in the hammer throw.
On the men’s side, Isaiah Simmons will look to continue his impressive outdoor debut season. The redshirt freshman has already set new school records in the shot put (60’ 4”) and hammer throw (168’ 10”). Simmons will not throw hammer in Gainesville, focusing on the shot put and discus.
Miami will have several talented runners competing at the Florida Relays this weekend. Hurdler Christian Cook will run in both the 110m high hurdles and the 400m intermediate hurdles. Cook won the 400m hurdles at the Miami Invitational with a time of 55.96 seconds.
“We’re just still looking for improvement,” Deem said of the jumpers. “This weekend and next weekend are just kind of final tune up for ACCs. They’re getting better and they’re approaches are getting better. They’re getting more confident in what they’re doing so hopefully that will show in the next couple weeks in competition.”
Senior Greg Kaczka will try to shine in several distance events. Kaczka, who is slated to run in the 1500m, earned his first career win at the Miami Invitational, finishing the men’s 800m in 1:54.31.
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