The Foothill League’s fastest boys 200-meter and 400-meter sprinter, Solomon Strader, committed to running track and field for the University of Miami on Monday.
“It feels really good. It’s a sigh of relief,” Strader said about finally committing. “The recruiting process is really fun, but it’s a tough decision because you meet a lot of great coaches and travel to a lot of great places, but it’s definitely nice to kind of be done it.
“In terms of why Miami, I really like Coach (Diego) Flaquer, who’s the head coach, and also Coach (Amy) Deem. I’ve always liked the school a lot and I’ve always wanted to go to a school a bit farther and get a new, unique experience and I liked the team a lot and felt like it was the best balance in academics and athletics.”
Strader enters his senior year at West Ranch with multiple accolades including the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 boys 400-meter title as well as the 200-meter runner-up.
Finishing third in the 400-meter with a time of 47.10 seconds at the CIF State Championships, Strader consistently strived to get better and bested his PR at the Brooks PR Invitational, setting a new time of 46.59 for second place at the meet.
The West Ranch track and field star has set some lofty goals for his final season as a Wildcat, with the state meet being the ultimate prize.
“Previous years, we have been specifically going for state,” Strader said. “This year, being the front runner and obviously, there’s still a lot of guys who can compete, but I think this year we are going for time. Trying to run sub-46, or anything 45 whether it’s high or low, running 45 will feel good, especially heading into college.”
Once in college, Strader will focus his time and efforts primarily on running in the 400-meter, but could also compete in the 200 or 800 all the while helping the Hurricanes on their quest for an Atlantic Coast Conference title.
Davian Clarke was the last Hurricane men’s runner to win the 400-meter conference championship, winning the outdoor title in back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998. He won the indoor title twice, in 1996 and 1998.
“Individually, the goal is to win an ACC Championship and NCAA, whether it’s coming right off the bat freshman or sophomore year, junior or maybe all four,” Strader said. “Team-wise, I know the men’s program hasn’t won an ACC title in a while and I’m not sure they ever had, so definitely try to contribute to the team aspect and try to help them get their first ACC title.”