KERR AND SIMON SOAR FOR THEIR HOME NATIONS
July 30, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. and GLASGOW, Scotland — As the dog days of summer approach and many college students are gearing up to return to school in a few weeks, several track stars from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) team are in full swing at international tournaments, representing their countries. Recently, a pair of Hawks—one from track and another from the field—seized the opportunity to compete for their home nations in separate tournaments.
Canadian Native and UMES incoming sophomore Jared Kerr (Brampton, Ontario) qualified for his chance to compete at the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Junior Championships based upon his times while racing with the Hawks. Jared raced in the 400 meter hurdles at the five-day event in Oregon with around 50 other athletes from around the world.
On July 23rd, Kerr ran in Heat #1 and earned a third place finish with a time of 52.46 seconds. While he did not automatically advance with a top two finish in his meet, his time was among the next eight best finishing times to earn a spot in the semifinals. In Semifinal #3, Kerr finished seventh with a time of 52.91 seconds. His heat time would have ranked first among his UMES times, while his semifinal time would have ranked fourth.
"I just wanted to run a good race, not far off my personal best.” Kerr remarked to Athletics Canada, the nation’s track & field governing body on Twitter.
UMES incoming senior Dillon Simon (Pottersville, Roseau, Dominica) has received multiple invitations to throw the shot put for his home island nation in the Caribbean. In early July he traveled to another island nation, St. Kitts and Nevis, for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Championships where he finished first in his trademark event. Dillon brought his first place finish to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland to throw against the best athletes from the 53 member states of the Commonwealth of Nations
This past Sunday, Simon, placed in Qualification Group B, finished sixth out of ten hurlers with a shot put toss of 18.40 meters. That throw was good enough for an 11th place finish overall out of twenty competitors, receiving eligibility to advance to the finals. There, Dillon finished seventh among the twelve finalists with an even stronger toss of 18.66 meters. In addition the throw gave Simon the Dominica national record for the shot put.
The Commonwealth Games will not be the final event for Dillon this summer, as he will join UMES track alumnus Gayon Evans (Clarendon, Jamaica) for the Pan American Festival in Mexico this coming August. Jared and Dillon will return to UMES for the 2014-15 season, mainly competing in the indoor and outdoor seasons.