Record-breaking Track and Field Team Competes in NCAA East Regional
Kameron Jones—a member of the relay team that broke the 1979 4x400m record anchored by former UMD star Renaldo Nehemiah—Greg Thompson and Alexandra Lucki (below) are a few of the Terps who have helped lead the track and field team to success this season.
How good is the Terps track and field team this year? In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Renaldo Nehemiah ran and hurdled his way into Maryland Athletics lore, toppling records and capturing a world mark before playing three seasons in the NFL. Forty years later, UMD student-athletes eclipsed one of the Terp great’s relay times.
It was only one of the many records smashed during the combined 2019 indoor and outdoor track and field season, which saw 11 new UMD bests and both a Big Ten record and a facility record. They’ll have the chance to rack up more today through Saturday at the NCAA East Regional Meet in Jacksonville, Fla. Eighteen Maryland student-athletes will compete, twice last year’s number and the most since 2005.
“In years past we haven’t had this type of depth, and it’s showing,” said junior Kameron Jones. “We’re improving every week, and it definitely stems from the hard work we put into practice every day.”
The 11th-ranked 4x400m team of Jones, Hazem Miawad, Dashawn Morris and Aaron Robinson finished third at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and in the top five of every event it competed in. It posted a winning time of 3:06.61 at the Florida Relays, then improved on its own record with a 3:06.51 at this year’s Penn Relays. That shattered the 1979 mark (3:07.20), considered one of the most iconic races in the event’s history as Nehemiah anchored Maryland’s come-from-behind victory.
Jones also set a school record in the outdoor 400m and in the indoor 300m and 600m dashes and was the leadoff leg for the winning 4x400m relay team alongside Miawad, Colin Rowe and Morris.
Morris also set a UMD record during the indoor season in the 400m dash. At the Music City Invitational in February, he took over the leaderboard with a time of 46.91, dethroning previous record-holder Jones.
Discus thrower Greg Thompson broke not only the school record, but also those for the Penn Relays and Big Ten, and he became the NCAA leader in the event while ranking eighth in the world with his mark of 65.56m.
For the women’s team, Alexandra Lucki shattered UMD’s 32-year-old 5,000m record at the Bison Outdoor Classic in April, shaving more than 14 seconds with a 16:20.01.
At the Virginia Quad Meet in April, Lillian Hill broke a decade-old school record by launching the javelin 42.72m, and Alice Barnsdale threw a record 62.75m in the hammer throw. And at the Florida Relays, the women’s 4x400m relay team of Xahria Santiago, Cheyenne Jones and transfers Destiny Ward and Venida Fagan sprinted to a 3:35.90, demolishing the previous UMD mark of 3:37.86.
“We always show up when we need to. This year it was no different,” Cheyenne Jones said. “It just means there’s more to come next year.”
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