COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland track and field team travels to State College, Pa. to kick off their indoor season this weekend at the Nittany Lion Challenge.
“We are looking forward to our senior class leading the way this season and raising the bar for competition," said head coach Andrew Valmon. "The junior and sophomore classes are growing contributors who are hungry for competition."
With new and returning faces, Valmon adds, “Our freshmen are looking forward to their first collegiate season and putting their stamp on the program. We have a competitive schedule with many opportunities for our athletes to achieve their best.”
Maryland will debut its huge incoming class, with 20 freshmen and transfers, who represent six different states and three different countries, with All-Americans, international team members, national champions and state champions that will add to the success of this years team.
The women return after setting five school records in the 300m, 600m, 60m hurdles, 4x400m relay, and distance medley relay last season, returning two competitors from those relay teams in Thaila Cooper and Alexandra Lucki.
School record holder in discus, senior Claudia Ababio, will lead the Terps in the throwing events this season. Last outdoor season, she led the team appearing in ten events and she was a NCAA Regional Qualifier. Senior, Emma O'Hara will return this season after setting a new school record in the weight throw. Alexandra Lucki looks to continue to be a threat for the Terps after recording the second best 1,000m time, third best 3,000m and second best mile time in school history last year.
Peyton Wade also returns as a senior after winning Second Team All-Big Ten last indoor season and leaving her mark coming in second place in the pentathlon and first place in the high jump and long jump at the Big Ten Championships. Kayla Richardson, also a senior, will look to continue success in the jumps this season as a NCAA East Regional Outdoor Qualifier. Thaila Cooper will make her mark as a junior this season in the hurdle and sprints events.
Junior Jewel Smith, will be a name to watch as she looks to further improve in long jump as the 10th best in school history from last season. Adding to the competition, sophomore Dallyssa Huggins, will be a key factor in several events, finishing third in the pentathlon at last season’s Big Ten Championships and setting the eighth best time in the 800m in school history.
Alex Leto looks to continue to make an impact with the Terps as a senior sprinter after breaking the record in the 300m race, setting the fifth best time in the 400m race, and tying for ninth in the 200m race on the all-time list. Senior Louis Corgliano will be a go to for the Terps in distance events this season, after posting Maryland's top times in the 3000 and 5000 meter races last year.
Returning junior Aj Ruffin is expected to excel again this year in sprint after finishing last year’s indoor season with the third best 60m time in school history. Experienced junior Hazem Miawad returns this year participating in nine events last outdoor season, five last indoor season and marking the second best time in the 600m in school history. TJ Bleichner will also be expected to have an impact on the team’s success this season posting the second best 600m time in school history to last indoor season as only a sophomore.
Sophomore Kameron Jones posted some of the school’s top sprint times in history, including school records in the indoor 500m and 600m, and will return as a key component for the team this season. With the seventh best time in the 600m in school history, Brady Snelson also returns as a sophomore this season.