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Cardozo track star chooses Miami over UAlbany

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The warm weather and year-round training proved to be too much for Lateisha Philson to pass up.

When the Benjamin Cardozo track star began the recruiting process, she said she would narrow things down to a school close to home and one far away. It came down to the University of Albany and Miami. Philson made it official last Thursday, signing with the Hurricanes, she told the New York Post. Teammate Alexis Panisse signed with Tennessee.

“I knew the hot weather would allow me to train better,” she said. “The conference is more competition than UAlbany’s conference.”

Philson, one of the city’s top hurdlers and sprinters, had a home visit with Miami around Thanksgiving and visited the ACC school in early December. She enjoyed the team’s family atmosphere and believes head Coach Amy Deem can take her to the next level. The senior joked that for her visit she went from the cold of New York City to 75 degrees in Miami. The Florida school also has the academic programs Philson was looking for. She wants to go into forensics or get involved in health care as an obstetrician.

“She has always kept it a secret [until last Thursday],” Cardozo Coach Gail Emmanuel said. “Even her family said they were surprised.”

The All-City first team selection by the Post is coming off a stellar junior season, despite battling through a hamstring injury early on in the outdoor campaign. Philson ran the state’s best mark in the 100 hurdles (14.17) and second best in the 100 meter dash (11.92) outdoors. She is a member of the Judges’ national-level 4x400 relay team, which has won at the Millrose Games and competed in the Championship of America at the Penn Relays. Cardozo has won the PSAL indoor and outdoor city titles the last three seasons.

“I’m ready for the competition,” Philson said of the college level.

This year Philson has put a greater influence on sprinting. She ran the state’s fastest time this season in the 55 meter dash at 7.01 at the Colgate Women’s Games Jan. 28. Philson recently tested herself in the 55 meter hurdles for the first time this season and finished in 8.04, just off her PR of 7.97. She is slated to compete in the 55 dash and the PSAL girls 4x400 relay during the Millrose Games at the Armory Saturday.

“She has been significant in all our relays,” Emmanuel said. “All around, she has made a good contribution to the team, to the school.”

Philson said she is looking forward to getting down to Miami. She believes training in a warm climate will give her an advantage and that along with all the school has to offer was something she couldn’t pass up.

“You don’t have to worry about cramping up and getting hurt,” Philson said. “I think it’s going to be a good place for me.”

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