The University of Miami track and field teams traveled to Gainesville Saturday to compete in the Tom Jones Memorial Classic.
It was the women’s second meet of the indoor season after a second-place performance in the Illinois Women’s Invitational, while it was the men’s 2008 season opener.
The women earned three NCAA provisional qualifying marks and the men took three top-five finishes.
Senior Khadija Talley repeated her strong performance from the Illinois Invitational with second place finishes in the weight throw with a distance of 18.02 meters and in the shot put with a NCAA provisional mark of 15.61 meters.
Freshman Ti’erra Brown finished fourth in the 55-meter hurdles in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 7.81 seconds.
“She handled herself well,” women’s Head Coach Amy Deem said. “That’s the type of attitude we need to see across the board.”
The 1,600-meter relay team of Brown, freshmen Takecia Jameson and Tameka Jameson, and junior Krista Simkins also took second in a provisional qualifying time.
The All-American Simkins and junior Ena Leufroy each placed third in their events, the 200-meter dash and the 800-meter run, respectively.
“I have a lot of confidence in what this group can do,” Deem said.
On the men’s side, sophomore Elan Daviglus tied for third in the high jump with a mark of 2.05 meters after not competing at all last year following knee surgery.
“He did really well,” men’s Head Coach Mike Ward said. “To come out and do that after knee surgery, that’s pretty special.”
Senior Richard Bernard and junior Patrick O’Donnell placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 800-meter run.
Senior All-American Tim Harris competed in only one event, the 1,600-meter relay that won its heat.
Ward wasn’t upset despite the few highlights from the meet.
“They get an idea where they’re at,” he said. “It usually gets better from there.”
Deem agreed about the men, saying: “It was a tough environment for your first meet.”
Despite being pleased with many of the women’s performances, Deem said she felt there could have been more to be proud of.
“I wasn’t real pleased in our performance in the 55-meter and the 200[-meter dash],” she said. “Those two events are key to our conference. I feel like we’re better than what we showed.”
She said she felt the two weeks before their next meet will give them time to improve.
“We’re a young team so we’re going to have some ups and downs,” Deem said. “They need to take the confidence they have in practice and take it to a meet.”
Both teams will compete next Feb. 8-9 at the ACC Challenge in Blacksburg, Va.
Deem added: “I look for them to do some good things at Virginia Tech.”
Corey Erb may be contacted at email@example.com.