TRACK AND FIELD: Track competes at ACC championship

After competing among the world’s elite athletes at the Miami Elite Invitational last week, the University of Miami men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Atlanta, Ga., to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.

The men’s team tied for eighth place with Maryland, registering 36 points. For the fourth straight year, Florida State won the ACC Championship.

On the women’s end, the No. 7 Hurricanes showed their excellence by finishing in second place with a team score of 127 points. For the second straight year, they finished runner-up to Virginia Tech, who ended with 172 points.

“I am very pleased with the outcome here today,” women’s head coach Amy Deem said. “As a team, we performed as well as we could, and as a coach that’s all you can ask for.”

It was no surprise that four-time All-American Tim Harris dominated his competition in the 800-meter and captured his sixth straight conference title. In his career, Harris has won all of his titles in the 800-meters, three outdoor and three indoor.

“Once again Tim was the man of the day,” men’s head coach Mike Ward said. “At the 400-meter mark he had a 50-meter lead over the nearest competitor.”

With that 50-meter lead, Harris ended up having a 2.62 second margin of victory. Harris improved his personal, collegiate and American best times to 1:47.25.

Following a strong showing at the Miami Elite Invitational last week, Cory Nelms again performed well. Nelms finished third in both the 110 and 400-meter hurdles, earning All-ACC honors in both. His time of 51.43 in the 400-meter hurdles was a career best, and he finished with a time of 14.23 in the 100-meter hurdles.

The women’s team got an enormous contribution from sophomore Kristy Whyte as she won the 100-meters in a time of 11.66 seconds. To follow that up, Whyte ran a personal-best time in the 200-meters, claiming her second title. Her time of 23.48 moved her up 13 spots in the national ranking to No. 12.

“Two weeks ago, Kristy told me she wanted to step up and take a bigger role with the team, and today she did just that,” Deem said. “She hasn’t run the 100-meters in a year, and for her to come out and perform like she did today was impressive.”

Once again two-time All-American Krista Simkins showed her supremacy, winning the 400-meters with a personal-best time of 52.90. She also was a part of the 4×100 relay that took first with a time of 44.80. The Canes showed why they are one of the top teams in the nation.

Last week at her final collegiate track meet, senior Khadija Talley launched the discus 57.10 meters, marking the best throw in the nation. Talley continued her powerful performance, capturing her second straight ACC Championship. Talley set an ACC meet record with her throw of 55.76 meters.

“Khadija once again performed wonderfully, and to have three throwers in the finals of the discus was great to see,” Deem said.

With the ACC Championships behind them, the Hurricanes will now have their sights set on competing in the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, which begin Thursday.

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at