Jan. 10, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The track team has worked hard since August with conditioning and training in preparation for the upcoming season. Head coach Andrew Valmon is looking forward to strong results from senior leaders as well as a promising group of underclassmen.
"Everyone in this program is expected to contribute to the success of the team and to work to leave a lasting legacy for the future," Valmon said. "We have worked hard this fall and now it is time to move to competition mode".
One of the strongest events for the program will be the high jump, where four ACC scorers and two NCAA first round qualifiers are returning.
Amina Smith was the ACC runner-up in the high jump and an NCAA regional qualifier with a season-best mark of 5'11.25. Amber Melville also qualified for postseason competition last year and has shown great determination to continue to post podium finishes in the conference.
Thea LaFond scored in the high jump last year for the Terps and will add some additional events for the multi-competition into her repertoire this year. LaFond also scored in the triple jump last spring.
Joining the Terps this year is freshman Lauren Ball, and Sydnee Pierce, a transfer from William & Mary. Senior Arielle Statham also looks to contribute in the jumps events.
Senior Moriah Young leads a young group of newcomers in the throwing events this year. Young has consistently scored at the ACC Championships and qualified for postseason competition throughout her career at Maryland.
Freshmen Chioma Onyekwere, a Virginia State runner-up, Sonya Napariu, and Mariame Fadiga will join the tradition of strong throwing for the Terps.
Kristiana Person will contribute in the javelin throw and Christina Bernal will join the Terps for the outdoor javelin and hammer throws.
Sprints and Hurdles
Veteran Arielle Statham will lead the female sprinters in the 400m dash and short sprints. She is a consistent relay runner who has been very reliable for the team. Ayanna Fields will also be called upon to lead the Terps in the sprint events and the relays this season.
Jordan Simmons, a transfer from James Madison University, will compete for the Terps in the 200m and 60m events after posting solid performances before arriving in College Park. Shade Pratt is coming off a stellar soccer season and heading onto the track to assist the team in the 400m as a strength-based runner.
Sophomore Lauren Ball will also assist in the short sprints. Ball also competes in the long jump and will develop into a multi-event competitor in the future.
Myah Hicks comes back for her sophomore year after a strong finish in 2012 in the middle distance events. Hicks was the top 800m runner finishing the season with a time of 2:11.08. Julie Sinkovitz also comes off of a strong 2012 campaign where she was competitive in the 800m events. Maryam Fikri is looking to have one of her strongest seasons in the middle distance events as she prepares to be a reliable source for the ladies.
Senior Taylor Bumpas will finish her career as an 800m runner and relay leg. Senior Christy Goldmann and Sophomore Katie Nappi and Catherine Sheffo hope to make an impact as well.
Anna Roth and Becky Yep are both coming off strong a cross country season where they were top runners for the team. The duo is set to continue to compete in the distance events this season.
Bridget Nolan also was a top cross country runner this past season and will compete in the 3k and 5k indoor. Julie Fricke, who was injured during the cross country season, looks to bounce back this year.
Caitlin Orr, Sydney King, Michelle Hess, and Kallie Fehr will also add depth to the distance team. Newcomers Jackie Lazzaro and Emily VandeWater are poised to begin their Maryland careers with the distance group as well.