What Break?

While most college students were back home working, studying abroad or relaxing this summer, several University of Miami current and former student-athletes were making headlines all over the globe. Here are some of the highlights of the summer:

Williams wins two gold medals at World Championships

It would certainly be difficult to top the summer Lauryn Williams had in 2004, winning a silver medal in the 100-meter dash in Athens, but the diminutive sprinter had an improbable encore this year in Helsinki, Finland. At the World Championships, Williams won gold medals in the 100 and 4×100-meter relay, establishing herself as the fastest female sprinter on the planet. Her team’s relay time of 41.78 is the fastest in the world this year. Williams has accumulated eight medals for the United States in international competition, including five golds. Williams was a nine-time All-American at UM, winning the 2004 NCAA Championship in the 100 meters. She is expected to be a key component of the 2008 Olympic squad.

Etienne sets Haitian 400-meter record

While Lauryn Williams was racking up accolades in the U.S., UM sophomore Ginou Etienne set a Haitian national record in the 400 meters at the 2005 Central American and Caribbean Senior Track and Field Championships in Nassau, the Bahamas. A three-time All-American at UM, Etienne set the record during the preliminary heat with a time of 52.69 seconds and followed with 52.87 in the finals to finish eighth overall.

Star shot putter Kim Barrett also had a stellar performance in Nassau, finishing third.

McDougle shot by armed robbers in Miami

Former Hurricane football standout Jerome McDougle, who has had trouble staying on the field since being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003, was shot in the stomach on July 28 by four armed robbers in Southwest Miami while he was in town visiting family. McDougle, 26, was in his Mercedes when he was approached by the four assailants at gunpoint. After giving the robbers his possessions, McDougle was shot in the stomach. Two more shots were fired as McDougle got out of his car, but both missed. Four suspects were arrested a week after the incident, ranging in age from 15 to 19. As for McDougle, he spent the rest of the summer recovering. The shot did not hit any vital organs, and the defensive lineman is expected to contribute for the Eagles this season.

Carrillo already earns promotion, Jay and Perez play for United States

Former Hurricane ace Cesar Carrillo, who was drafted 18th overall by the San Diego Padres in June, wasted no time establishing himself in the minor leagues. After posting a 1-0 record with a 2.79 earned run average in four starts for single-A Lake Elsinore, Carrillo was promoted to double-A Mobile, where he is expected to finish the season.

Two current Hurricanes, Jon Jay and Chris Perez, were integral parts of the USA National Team this summer, playing the likes of Japan, China and Nicaragua. Jay was the starting leftfielder and leadoff hitter for the squad, batting .262 with eight RBI in 18 games. Perez appeared in seven games, going 1-1 with two saves and a 2.84 earned run average.

Eric Kalis can be contacted at e.kalis@umiami.edu.