Robinson Outshines the Nation and Hebron Makes History on Senior Day

Robinson Outshines the Nation and Hebron Makes History on Senior Day

by James Knable

CORAL GABLES, Fla – The University of Miami track and field team completed their final home meet of the 2023 outdoor season at Cobb Stadium Friday and Saturday.

Starting on Friday, Décio Andrade pushes the envelope again in the men’s hammer throw.

With a mark of 73.01m, Andrade earned the first-place spot at the invitational and breaks the program record that he set last week at the Florida Relays in Gainsville. Décios distance is also top three in the nation this week, coming in at number three.

Kristina Rakocevic also came in strong in the women’s discus, earning herself a mark of 52.63m.

Taylor Wright in the women’s high jump had a huge performance, reaching a height of 1.77m and earning the first-place spot. This height ties Wright with her training partner, Rachel Robertson, at number five in the program record books.

On Saturday, there was a lot to cheer about for the hurricanes.

Starting off on the women’s long jump, Ashley Moore defended Cobb Stadium with a distance of 6.22m coming on her first and third attempts. The 6.22m from Moore is also a new personal best.

Big day for the throwing squad as well, as the Hurricanes placed 1-2-3 in the women’s shot put.

Hannah Hall with a distance of 17.39m, Erikka Hill with 15.87m, and Selina Dantzler with 15.69m. Each coming in first, second, and third, respectively.

Then in walks Russell Robinson…

On a twelve-step approach, Russell Robinson created magic in the men’s triple jump competition. Not only did Robinson place first, but he did it in style with a mark of 16.73m. This shatters the program record and currently ranks number one in the nation. Look for Robinson to keep the same momentum next week as the team travels to Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, California. 

“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. 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,” Head Coach Amy Deem comments.

The women’s 4×100 team placed second at the invitational, with a time of 45.77. This was earned by Sydney Scott, Blanca Hervas, Skyla Wilson, and Sanaa Hebron.

Sincere Rhea was locked in on the men’s 110m hurdles, posting a time of 13.74 and taking the first-place spot. Not only is this a personal best for Rhea, but he also ties for fourth all-time in the Miami record books. 

Moriah Oliveira and Kennedy Brace also came up big in the women’s 400m with Oliveira taking first with a time of 52.58 and Kennedy Brace taking second with a time of 53.04.

Khamal Stewart-Baynes also with the third-place finish in the men’s 400m dash, posting a time of 46.73 on his final outdoor home meet in the orange and green. 

Gabriella Grissom with a big top-three finish in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:08.78, while Sierra Oliveira placed fifth with a time of 2:13.19.

The dynamic duo of Ayman Zahafi and Oskar Bambals struck again on Senior Day. With a time of 1:47.79, Zahafi finished first while Bambals finished right on his tail with a time of 1:48.27.

Let’s talk about freshman Sanaa Hebron. You’ve heard her name before, and you’ll continue to hear it based on the absolutely incredible performances she’s been having. Posting the number one time in the nation for the 400m hurdles a few weeks ago, the freshman wasn’t satisfied with that. 

Hebron was simply on another level. She posted a time of 56.28 in the 400m hurdles and is now number five in program history for the event. The program’s top five in the 400m hurdles haven’t been touched by a hurricane in a long time. A whole eleven years to be exact.

“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. At 18 years old, they really just rely on their natural ability, but Sanna really wants to be great. 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,” Head Coach Amy Deem said.

Sanaa had an incredible outing, but Skyla Wilson was right there with her, posting a massive personal best of 56.91 and placing second while Hebron took the first place spot.

With the day winding down on a perfect Coral Gables evening, the women’s 4x400m relay teams were not done just yet.

The first Miami relay team, comprised of Kennedy Brace, Moriah Oliveira, Sanaa Hebron, and Gabriella Grissom, posted a time of 3:30.82 and earned themselves the first-place finish.

The second Miami relay team, which contained Blanca Hervas, Sierra Oliveira, Krystalann Bechard, and Amaya Turner, finished in second with a time of 3:42.58.

Senior and graduate student recognition also took place on Saturday, with 19 seniors and graduate students being recognized.

The list of upcoming graduates is as follows…

Décio Andrade

Selina Dantzler

Dillon Fields

Hannah Sophia Hall

Lauryn Harris

Adam Khriss

Camille Kohtala

Gianna Macones

Marquasha Myers

Mia Raffaele

Kristina Rakocevic

Justin Rittenhouse

Rachel Robertson

Iza Sabharwal

Lauren Stern

Khamal Stewart-Baynes

Skyla Wilson

Taylor Wright

Ayman Zahafi

“The seniors are a great group and the graduate student transfers 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,” Head Coach Amy Deem says when asked about the graduating group.

Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, California is up next. This event has been circled on calendars for a while now and will prepare this group for some different competition from what they usually see.

“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. I think the coaching staff did a great job of 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, 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 team will compete in Walnut, California at the Mt. Sac Relays on April 13, 14, and 15.

For staying up to date with the Miami Hurricanes Track and Field team, make sure to follow @canestrack on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.