LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a strong showing at the Nittany Lion Challenge, the University of Miami track and field program is back in action this weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet.
The Hurricanes travel to the University of Kentucky’s campus for a two-day meet featuring a bevy of talented programs from around the country.
“The Penn State meet was a great opener for us,” Miami director of track & field/cross country Amy Deem said. “We were able to get a lot of things done. It’s a little bit higher quality competition this weekend, so it will give us a really good indication where we are early in the season.”
The Rod McCravy Memorial Meet will be held at Nutter Field House. The meet begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, with the women’s pentathlon 60m hurdles. Saturday’s action is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the men’s heptathlon 60m hurdles.
“It’s a very competitive meet,” Deem said. “We’ve got Oregon coming in, University of Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, so it’s going to be very competitive. We’re excited about that.”
Miami will have 25 student-athletes competing in Lexington this weekend. Freshman Shakima Wimbley is one of the 18 women expected to make an impact at the Rod McCravy Memorial. The sprinter enters the meet fresh off earning ACC Performer of the Week honors after winning the 400m and anchoring Miami’s 4x400m relay to victory at the Nittany Lion Challenge a week ago.
“She’s a freshman, so every week is a new experience,” Deem said. “We’re just trying to take it slow with her and really just develop a strong level of confidence. As long as she is confident, she is going to have a very successful indoor season. That’s what we’re just really working on, putting her in situations where she can be successful and she can kind of feel her way through her first indoor season.”
Other women expected to make some noise are throwers Amber Monroe and Precious Ogunleye, each who entered Miami’s record book with their performance a week ago. Pole vaulter Alysha Newman is also set to make her Hurricane debut in Lexington.
On the men’s side, Gian Ragonesi will look to build off his strong debut from a week ago. The freshman thrower placed third in the shot put with a mark of 15.93m, fourth-best in Miami history.
“Coach Young is awesome and he gets our athletes ready to compete in the throws,” Deem said. “I know him and I know what they’re doing and each week they’re going to get better.”
“They bring a strong, competitive spirit to our team and we’re excited to have them,” Deem said. We’re getting that first meet under their belt coming off football season, getting in that track mode again. Phillip’s been looking really good in practice, starts are looking good. He’s going to run the 60 for us this weekend. Hopefully, as the season progresses we’ll be able to add a couple events. And Josh has just been a pleasant surprise in the aspect of we weren’t exactly expecting him early on. He’s been training really hard so we’re excited about him, too.”
Heading into the second meet of the indoor season, Deem says the team has a singular focus.
“I told the team that it’s great to start strong but you want to finish strong and that’s our goal, to finish strong,” Deem said. “Each week is working on the small technical things, working on the timing, just really trying to get better each week.”
800m: Jonas Frenzel
60m HH: TeQuille Jackson
High Jump: John-Patrick Friday
Shot Put: Gian Ragonesi
600m: Taneisha Cordell
1 Mile: Lindsi Arrington
Pole Vault: Alysha Newman
High Jump: Dakota Dailey-Harris
Triple Jump: Alexis Wright
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