MONDAY, MAY 24, 2004
Track & Field Signs Trio of Top-20 Hurdlers

May 24, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University track & field has signed three of the top 300-meter hurdlers in the nation, Simone Clark (Tallahassee, Fla.), Janel Grooms (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) and Loreal Smith (Tallahassee, Fla.), to national letters of intent, head coach Ron Grigg announced today. The Dolphins are looking to replace two of the top senior classes in school history, which included four-time All-America and 60-meter dash national champion Monique Tubbs (Boston, Mass.) and three-time NCAA heptathlon qualifier Andrea Pressley (Upper Marlboro, Md.).

Clark ranks 18th among the nation's high school leaders according to the latest Elite National Rankings in the 100-meter hurdles after running a 14.18, while also posting a 43.10 in the 300-meter hurdles and jumping 5-foot-4 inches in the high jump. She was also part of the Rickards High School Florida Class 2A state championship 4x400-meter relay team. Grooms, a Navarre High School product, ranks 19th nationally after running a personal-best 43.40 in the 300-meter hurdles. She also won the Mobile Meet of Champions in nearby Mobile, Ala. Smith ran a 43.06 in the 300-meter hurdles, which ranks 14th in the latest rankings. She also helped Rickards High capture the 4x400-meter relay state title as well as 4x100-meter relay state championship.

The trio of hurdlers joins prior signees Fallon Heffernan (Jacksonville/Fletcher) and Danielle Coyle (New Port Richey, Fla.). Heffernan finished second at the Florida Class 4A state meet in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:57.47, which is the fastest time by any senior in the state of Florida this year. Coyle, meanwhile, finished third in the 1,600-meter run and sixth in the 800-meter run at the Florida Class 3A state championship meet.

Pressley joins senior hurdler Safiya Davy (Mitchelville, Md.) and freshman thrower Stephanie Jeffers (Marston Mills, Mass.) at the NCAA East Regionals this weekend in Gainesville.