The USF track and field teams must be hoping their meet this weekend at the Miami Gatorade Classic in Coral Gables will go smoother than their previous two meets.
At the Georgia Tech Invitational last week and the Raleigh Relays two weeks ago, the Bulls had to contend with large fields and poor event scheduling. Both caused many of the Bulls’ competitors to pull out of their events.
Unlike their two previous meets, the field of competitors will be small. The Miami Gatorade Classic will feature only six teams: Villanova, St. John’s, Kansas St., Florida International, Miami and USF. According to coach Greg Thiel, the smaller field will allow the meet to run on schedule, which will allow his athletes to be better prepared to compete.
Like last weekend, the distance runners, Tara and Tiffany Quinn, Kristy Fuller, Adam Chumbley and Andrew Smith will not compete in the long races. They will compete in short distance races until later in the season.
“We aren’t going to run the real long stuff due to the heat,” said Thiel. “Heat will be a issue for the rest of the season for the distance runners.”
Tara Quinn will not compete in the 10,000 meters, in which she qualified for nationals. She, along with her sister, Tiffany, and Fuller will most likely compete in the 1,500 meters or the 5,000 meters.
“I think that my qualifying time should be OK,” said Tara Quinn. “It’s about 13th right now and they take about 20 to 21 people (to the NCAAs). I will look to improve on it at the Penn Relays.”
Bente General will compete in the 400-meter hurdles for the first time this season. Returning to competition will be Jimmy Baxter in the high jump and Dayana Octavien in the shot put, discus and hammer throw. They will both look to improve their national qualifying standing.