Canes trio race for spot on USA squad

University of Miami track and field coach Amy Deam did not want to head back to Coral Gables before taking some of the members of the team on a sight-seeing excursion in the San Francisco area.

"I'm just showing the girls around," Deam said. "They've worked hard all season and they deserve it."

Just imagine what Deam would do next if UM All-Americans Charlette Greggs, Lauryn Williams and Jamillah Wade finish up the trip to the west coast by securing spots on the USA squad that will compete in the world championships later this summer.

"That would be even sweeter," said Deam.

Greggs, Williams, and Wade will all take part in the USA Track and Field Championships, starting Thursday, in Palo Alto, Calif., in an attempt to make the roster that will represent the United States in the world championships. The top-3 finishers in each event will advance to the world championships, Aug. 22-31 in Paris, France.

Greggs, a former All-Dade First Team selection out of Miami Northwestern, wrapped up her freshmen season at UM in an impressive fashion earning All-America honors in the 400 meters, 4x400 relay and 4x100 relay at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last week.

Greggs, the only competitor in school history to receive All-America honors in three events at the NCAAs, ran 8th in the 400-meters final with a recorded time of 52:19 and anchored the 4x400-meters relay to a fourth-place run on the final day of competition.

Greggs came to Miami accompanied by high expectations after capturing an individual state championship in the 400-meters (54:08) and finishing second in the 100-meters (11:84). Greggs' accomplishments led to a second-place overall standing for Northwestern. So far, she hasn't missed a beat as a Hurricane.

"I'm not surprised at all with what Charlette did this season. She's a special athlete and is only going to get better with experience," said Deam. "A lot of it has to do with her work ethic and dedication to the sport. I just can't say enough about her."

Greggs, who concluded the season ranked fourth in the nation in the 400-meters, placed second in the semifinal heat of the 400-meters to qualify for the final. Greggs posted the second fastest time in school history in the event despite easing up during the final 50 meters of the event.

"I don't know what happened but it was still quite a performance," said Deam.

Williams, the 100-meters world junior's champion, finished third in the event at the NCAAs and ran the opening leg of the 4x100 relay. Williams' time of 11:31 in the 100-meters was the best ever in school history in the event. Williams, an All-American for two consecutive seasons, helped the relay team place seventh in the 4x100.

Wade, an All-American last year, ran the second leg of the 4X400-relay team that finished seventh in the NCAAs, posting a school record time of 3:32.24.

Although she was extremely excited about some of the Hurricanes individual accomplishments in the NCAA championships, Deam went into the competition with the notion that UM would come out with a better overall finished. Despite finishing 18th overall with 14 points, the highest total for UM in the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 1995, Deam had higher aspirations.

"I would have loved to seen us finish in the top-10. That's what we were shooting for," said Deam. "I was certainly a little disappointed and I think we got caught up in the final (4x400). But it was a very successful season and I'm very proud of all the girls."

Finishing among the top collegiate track and field teams in the nation will also help in an area that Deam works tirelessly at: recruiting. With Greggs and Williams in the beginning stages of their careers at UM and the Hurricanes coming off a respectable season, Deam believes that prospective athletes around the country are becoming more aware of the program's recent success.

"I'm really excited about where we stand as a program and the possibilities that exist to take it to the next level," said Deam, who just completed her 13th season at Miami and has been honored five times by the Big East as part of the Coaching Staff of the Year (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002).

"Obviously when people notice that the program is doing well it creates interest and opens some eyes around the country. I really believe we're headed in the right direction."

Canes Time Top Stories