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USF jumper coming into his own

Jaydian Miller has shown to the USF men’s track and field team he can compete with the rest of the country. Miller will have his chance to prove it against the nation’s best Saturday, during the Miami Gatorade meet.

The freshman jumper from Miami has been one of the Bulls standout young athletes this season. In the first three meets of his career, Miller has one first-place finish in the long jump (48–2.75 at the UCF Invite) and two first-place finishes in the triple jump.

Track and field coach Greg Thiel said that he believes that his 24-5 first place triple jump finish at UCF could be one of the top ten in the country.

At Saturday’s meet, the Bulls will compete against Louisiana State, Kansas State, Maryland and Miami, some of the best teams in the country. Miller and the Bulls will be particularly wary of the 2003 outdoor champions, the Tigers.

“LSU men took one, two and three in triple jump and one and two in the long jump,” Thiel said. “LSU won national championships on the men’s and women’s side indoor this year and outdoor last season.”

Further concerning the Bulls is the fatigue accumulated from placing in the top three in 16 events last weekend at the USF Invite.

“The kids are a little tired,” Thiel said. “It’s that time of year, especially the girls. The guys are fine, the girl’s team, they seem a little tired. This will be a fun meet for them and get them back on track because the quality of this meet is really going to be something.”

Thiel said he is looking for Miller and high jumper Jimmy Baxter to have a good meet.

“(Miller’s) a young kid, so going against those kids trying to keep it exciting and light because those guys are good,” Thiel said. “We’re waiting for Jimmy to have a breakout meet on the men’s side.”

Thiel said Baxter was jumping well last week, however the windy conditions prevented him from making high clearances.

“At our meet he jumped pretty high but the wind really throws off our steps,” Thiel said.

The women’s track team will look to improve on last week’s meet before resting at Southern Miss the following week.

“On the women’s side, we’ll look for the girls to keep making the steady improvements they’ve been making,” Thiel said.