Track and Field: Harris, Simkins shine at Virginia Tech Elite

The University of Miami men’s and women’s track and field teams faced their first extensive ACC competition Friday and Saturday at the Virginia Tech Elite in Blacksburg, Va.

Junior All-American Krista Simkins won the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash, running the third-fastest time in the country this season in the 400 at 23.74 seconds.

The men took home three first-place finishes and set a school record in the distance medley relay.

“We can’t get much better than that,” men’s Head Coach Mike Ward said.

Senior All-American Tim Harris took first place in his first 800-meter run in competition this indoor season, less than a week after his younger brother Brandon signed with UM to play football.

Ward said he was pleased Harris won the event but said he was looking for him to post a faster time.

“Even though he won, he probably could have forced the pace early,” Ward said.

Harris was also part of the distance medley relay team, along with sophomore Cory Nelms, junior Patrick O’Donnell and senior Richard Bernard. The quartet set a school record for the event with a time of 10:05.52.

The women’s 1,600-meter relay team of Simkins, freshmen Takecia Jameson and Tameka Jameson, and All-American junior Ena Leufroy took second.

Freshman Ti’erra Brown and junior Viktoria Andonova recorded strong personal efforts. Brown earned third in the 60-meter hurdles and Andonova finishing second in the high jump.

Sophomore Les Bradley and Nelms placed first and third, respectively, in the 60-meter hurdles.

“[Bradley]’s been up and down with injuries, basically since high school,” Ward said. “He’s a talented kid that came through on race day, that was pretty impressive.”

Sophomore high-jumper Elan Daviglus built upon his performance two weeks ago in Gainesville, winning the event with a personal best-tying mark of 2.06 meters.

Senior Khadija Talley also improved her performance in the weight throw with a mark of 19.33 meters.

The meet also marked the first time athletes from the Hurricanes football team competed with the men’s team this season.

“Most of the guys out there with us have very limited track experience,” Ward said. “We’re trying to get them a little faster not only for football but for the outdoor [track]season as well.”

Among the new additions from the football team, freshman Demarcus Van Dyke ran the 60-meter dash in 6.88 seconds.

“It’s been probably about three years since we’ve had any of the football guys run under 7 [seconds]in the 60,” Ward said. “That’s a pretty encouraging sign for Demarcus.”

Ward said the meet gave both the women and the men an indication they need to continue to improve their performances for seed times at the upcoming ACC Indoor Championships.

“The conference is just ridiculous in every event,” he said. “It’s an all-around great conference.”

Both teams will compete in their final meet preceding the ACC Indoor Championships next Friday and Saturday at the Tyson Invitation in Fayetteville, Ark.

Corey Erb may be contacted at

February 11, 2008


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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