It was an impressive showing for Jaida Smith and Caleb Dean, two DMV products who took their talents down south, further etching their names into Maryland track and field’s record books in the process.
It started on Friday, the first day of competition for Smith. The junior ran the preliminary round of the women’s 100m in a blazing 11.70 seconds to qualify for Saturday’s final. The time was both a personal best and the fourth-best time in program history.
Smith had more to give, though. And less than 24 hours later, she would outperform those record-breaking metrics and move up Maryland’s all-time charts once more.
In the women’s 100m finals the following day, Smith ran the third-fastest time in Maryland history, breaking her personal record with a time of 11.58s.
However, the junior didn’t stop there. After finishing in first place in the women’s 200m last weekend, Smith picked up exactly where she left off, finishing with another first-place performance. Not only was her time of 24.00s a personal best, it also gave her the fifth-best time in Maryland history.
Meanwhile, Dean was arguably equally as dominant with two record-breaking performances of his own.
The sophomore, who has been on a tear as of late with several first-place finishes dating back to the indoor season, continued that streak of excellence with another first-place finish in the men’s 400m hurdles.
His time of 51.25s was good enough for both a new personal record and the sixth-fastest finish in Maryland history.
But Dean wasn’t done making waves. While he improved upon last week’s 110m hurdle time, his time of 14.17s wasn’t enough to place this weekend. Despite that, both he and freshman Brandon Turpin (14.96s) were able to set PRs in the event.
As a whole, Maryland had a handful of strong showings from athletes on and off the track.
Sophomore Gerald Norgbe, who finished second in the men’s triple jump last weekend, took home a first-place finish this time around with a mark of 14.54m.
Meanwhile, the women’s 4×800 relay team of Kami Joi Hickson, Christine Laurie, Samantha Facius, and Mackenzie Morgan performed well, finishing the race in third place with a time of 9:10.52s.
All in all it was another showing for the Terps, thanks in large part to a historic weekend for Dean and Smith, two athletes who Valmon believes have tremendous potential to contribute over the course of the season.
“Dean and Smith are two local athletes from the DMV that showed up big this weekend. They broke barriers setting personal bests in multiple events,” Valmon said. “The sky’s the limit as we move forward this season.”
The Terps will get ready to travel somewhere a bit closer to home next weekend, when they compete at the Rutgers Tri-Meet in New Brunswick, New Jersey on April 10.