The women’s track and field team is preparing for the Texas Relays this Wednesday at the University of Texas.
The Texas Relays is one of the most important meets in collegiate track. The best programs from across the country hone their skills.
Miami Head Coach Amy Deem said the stands are always packed with excitable fans. There are also parties and performances scheduled around the Texas Relays that create a miniature all-star weekend for track and field.
“Our girls understand why we’re there, to play hard and compete well. They know there’s a time for everything else,” Deem said.
Senior All-American Dominique Darden, who will be in the 400-meter hurdles and the 1600-meter sprint medley, said that the Texas Relays is ideal to showcase potential. Darden ranks the Texas Relays in the top three in terms of important events, with the Penn Relays and the NCAA Championships.
Due to the prominence of the event, Olympians, agents and national press are normally present. Despite the inevitable pressure, senior All-American India Ransom said performing at a high level is simply a matter of focus.
“You want to do well because you know people are watching, but you have to tune them out,” Ransom said.
The women’s track program seems to be doing quite well thus far, as six members of the team recently earned All-American status. Ransom was named ACC Performer of the Week on March 20.
The players don’t seem to pay too much attention to their accolade, however.
“We don’t stress All-American status,” Darden said. “It’s a great accomplishment, but if I’m not doing well, it’s worth nothing.”
Despite the players downplaying the awards, Deem said she enjoys seeing the women get rewarded for their hard work. She said she believes the team has played a big part in developing a positive reputation for track at this university.
Although women’s track has been gaining a well-deserved buzz because of its recent success, some of the runners believe that they are still unfairly disregarded for the most part by the student body and the university press.
“I don’t think we get as much credit as we should,” Ransom said. “We fall right under football, if not above them.”
Joel Brown can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org