TRACK AND FIELD: Fast finishes at Tyson Invitational

Competing at the prestigious Tyson Invitational, Tim Harris proved once again he will be a formidable challenger at next month’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Running in the Olympic Development 800-meter Friday night, Harris, a three time All-American, clocked in at 1:48:59 to finish third. His time, an improvement over last week’s 1:50:34 winning effort at the ACC Challenge in Blacksburg, Va., ranks him among the country’s leaders at that distance. Jacob Hernandez of Texas won in 1:47:89, and 19-year-old Andrew Heaney of Toronto was second in 1:48:04.

“He went out in 51,” said Coach Mike Ward. “Overall it was good. He’s probably sixth in the country now, depending how the other meets went, but we won’t have to compete in a qualifier meet [to get to the NCAAs].”

Multi-eventer Roland Dasilva continued his preparation for the ACC Championships heptathlon, running a solid 8.20 in the men’s 60 hurdles, and competing, but registering no official results, in the long jump and pole vault. He also ran a leg on UM’s 4×400 relay team that was disqualified for a lane violation.

Freshman footballer Demarcus VanDyke was solid in both the 60-meter (6.89) and 200-meter (21.82) dash. Though unable to qualify for the finals, his times offered significant promise for the future.

On the women’s side, All-American Krista Simkins ran 52.86 against a strong field in the women’s 400-meter dash to finish second, cementing herself as one of the favorites at the NCAA’s. Only unaffiliated Moya Thompson’s 52.15 was faster.

Viktoria Andonova cleared 1.78 in the women’s high jump championship section, good for a fourth place finish, though far from her 1.87 personal best.

Ena Leufroy ran 2:10:39 to win the women’s section of the 800-meter dash. Her 2:10:39 was competitive with the winning times in both the Championship and Olympic Development sections, but short of the provisional NCAA standard.

Harris was originally scheduled to compete in the Invitational 800m against pros. But after a late mix-up in registration he chose instead to run in the Championship section.

The UM track team next competes at the ACC Championships in Chapel Hill Feb. 28 to March 1 in Chapel Hill, N.C., where Harris will seek to defend his 800-meter crown. The NCAA Championships take place March 14-15 in Arkansas.

Krishen Rangi may be contacted at