It was a wonderful day for the 19 seniors involved in the track and field program at Miami. Each was allowed to smile and hold up a custom artwork of themselves, a parting gift for their efforts.
This positive attitude turned right around into results, too, as several older Hurricanes impressed at the Miami Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables over the weekend. Graduate student Décio Andrade set the tone on Friday with a 73.01-meter hammer throw on his first try. The throw earned a first-place spot for the meet and broke the program record that he had previously set at last week’s Florida Relays in Gainesville.
“The seniors are a great group and the graduate student transfer brought so much to our team, especially maturity and depth. I’m excited for them, and I think what I like the most is that they’re still here, they’re not looking forward to what’s next quite yet and they’re really bought into what we’re trying to do here and finish the mission,” Miami head coach Amy Deem said.
Taylor Wright helped the ‘Canes with a big performance in the women’s high jump, hopping 1.77 meters to earn first place. Joined by Miami native Rachel Robertson, Wright’s jump was the fifth-best in program history.
On Saturday, the women’s team continued to impress. In the 4×100-meter relay, the team of junior Moriah Oliveira and Nevada native Kennedy Brace locked in times of 52.58 and 53.04, finishing in first and second place, respectively.
The women’s shot-put team also hogged the top of the leaderboard. Throws of 17.39 meters from Hannah Hall, 15.87 meters out of the hand of Erikka Hill and a 15.69-meter release from Selina Dantzler made up the top three in the competition.
Additionally, junior leaper Russell Robinson stole the show with an incredible performance in the men’s triple jump. Breaking a program record, Robinson’s distance of 16.73 meters ranks No. 1 in the nation in the competition.
“Coach Jarvis was really excited about him in the recruiting process and believed he could develop and be a great jumper by trusting the process,” Deem said. “Watching the growth, not only physically, but the confidence that’s gaining to step up when it counts, he wants to be against that tough competition and thrive against that tough competition. I think that is great leadership for him as well.”
Amongst the newer faces of the team, freshman Sanaa Hebron put together a sharp 56.28 second run in the 400-meter hurdles event, the fifth-best time in program history.
“She has a wonderful understanding of the event. She asks the right questions too, she wants to understand her event and be a student of her event,” Deem said. “She’ll text me after practice, she’ll text me at night about what she can do better. The maturity and determination that she shows is really fun.”
After staying home for the weekend, the Miami Hurricanes will hit the road again for the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, California.
“It’s something that we’ve never done. We’ve been in Florida a lot, and I think the excitement of going somewhere that we’ve never been able to go and also competing against great competition. I think they’re all excited. I was more concerned with them looking ahead to Mt. Sac and overlooking the current meet,” Deem said. “I think the coaching staff did a great job saying hey, you know, this is the first step to next weekend. We’ll get to see some people that we’ll compete against at the NCAA Championships and also be out of the east coast and see different kinds of athletes. I think it’s going to be a really good weekend for us.”
The Mt. Sac Relays will begin on April 13 and end on April 15.