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Maryland’s LaFond, Florida State’s Harris honored after their nation-leading efforts
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Maryland junior Thea LaFond has been named the first Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Indoor Track & Field Performer of the Week of the 2014 season, while Florida State senior James Harris earned ACC Male Performer of the Week honors.
LaFond, of Silver Spring, Md., was also honored as the USTFCCCA National Division I Female Athlete of the Week after her winning efforts in last weekend’s Penn State Relays. LaFond opened with a collegiate-leading mark of 42-2 (12.85m) in the triple jump. The ACC defending indoor pentathlon champion then delivered a mark of 5-11¼ (1.81m) in the high jump that tied for the early-season top mark in Division I. LaFond’s triple jump mark was nearly a foot-and-a-half greater than her nearest competition in the Relays, and is about half a foot clear of the next-closest competitor nationally so far in the young season.
Florida State’s Harris opened his season in style, winning the high jump at the UAB Blazer Invitational with a nation-leading leap of 2.23 meters (7-3.75). The Lanett, Ala., native broke the meet record at the Birmingham Crossplex Arena on the opening night of competition. On Saturday, Harris anchored the Seminoles’ 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish in 3:07.70, which ranks as the nation’s third-fastest relay performance this season. One of three members returning from last year’s NCAA Indoor bronze medal team, Harris brought the baton around with a split of 46.1. Harris earned honorable mention from the USTFCCCA in its consideration for Division I National Male Athlete of the Week.