Football individual game tickets are now available! Buy now ➡️

Close Topbar
Hurricane Headliners: Devoux Deysel

Hurricane Headliners: Devoux Deysel

Christy Cabrera Chirinos by Christy Cabrera Chirinos

In Hurricane Headliners, Christy Cabrera Chirinos spotlights some of Miami’s top-performing student-athletes as they look to continue excelling in and out of competition.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It was a moment that had been seemingly months in the making.

Devoux Deysel arrived at Miami knowing he’d have to wait his turn to compete since his particular event – the javelin – isn’t a part of the indoor track and field season slate.

And so, he spent his first few months as a Hurricane training for the outdoor season and watching from a distance as his new teammates made their way through indoor competition.

It wasn’t exactly fun, Deysel notes, but that extra time he spent training paid off – in a big way.

At Miami’s second outdoor meet of the year, Deysel and fellow javelin thrower Deisiane Teixeira, who competes for the Hurricanes’ women’s team, both set new school records and days later, were recognized as the ACC’s Field Performers of the Week.

“Obviously, we don’t compete in indoor, which makes you feel a little bit separated from the team at first, especially since I just started,” Deysel said. “So, I would say for the longest time of the semester, you kind of feel like a lonely lion. That’s what I called it. But once we got to compete, we really started bonding even more as a team … it was a really good experience.”

It was a meet that set the tone for the season – and eventually, the conference championship.

At last week’s ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Atlanta, Deysel and Teixeira both won conference championships, with Miami becoming the first school to sweep the javelin event since 2003, when Virginia accomplished that feat.

It was a moment of pride for the Hurricanes, but in particular for Deysel, who had been nursing a nagging injury and wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to compete at the conference championship meet.

He competed – and delivered, his throw of 70.49m giving him the ACC title.

“It was nice to be able to get some points for the team. I’ve been injured for three weeks now, so there was a chance I wasn’t going to be able to throw because nationals is the big goal in the end,” Deysel said. “But I’m glad I got to compete and make coach happy and get the 10 points for the team. A win is a win. It wasn’t my best performance, distance-wise, but taking the circumstances, I really can’t be mad at it.”

With the conference championship meet now behind him, Deysel – a graduate student who won two Division II national championships while competing at Angelo State – will turn his focus to the NCAA East Preliminaries, which begin next week in Lexington, Kentucky.

His goals are simple. He intends to keep improving as he navigates qualifying so he can put himself in position to win another national title, this one on a much bigger stage.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to move on from D-II unless I could break the D-II record, which I eventually did at my last meet at nationals last year,” said Deysel, who set that mark with a throw of 79.14m last May. “I think I definitely made the right decision later to come here.”

Challenging himself has long been a way of life for Deysel, who hails from South Africa and played a plethora of sports there as a child.

There was golf, rugby, cricket, squash and yes, track and field.

But it wasn’t until he noticed one of his father’s old javelins in the garage that he decided to give that particular discipline a try.

It didn’t take long for him to realize he might have a knack for the event.

“I just threw it and was like, ‘I can throw this pretty far,’” Deysel recalled with a laugh. “So, after that, my dad was my coach when I was younger. He helped me, and then eventually, I moved to the city. We grew up on a farm, so I moved away from home for better coaching. I still played rugby, but in the end, the big idea of continuing jav was that it would give me the opportunity to come here [to the United States], get a degree and get my master’s.”

"When you're in your comfort zone, you don't grow."

Hurricanes thrower Devoux Deysel

It’s a decision that has worked out even better than Deysel could have hoped.

He’s set records and won national championships at the Division II level. He’s working to do the same now at Miami and he’s on track to graduate in December with a master’s degree in business analytics.

There are plans to pursue a second master’s as well and Deysel hopes to one day, put those degrees to use in the agriculture industry.

Before, that, though, Deysel has a few more goals he’d like to accomplish at Miami, starting with continuing to challenge himself ahead of next month’s NCAA Championships.

And his focus remains on continuing to grow, when competing and beyond.

“I always say that when you’re in your comfort zone, you don’t grow. That’s one thing I believe, especially in coming here and moving from a small town to Miami,” Deysel said. “Those are two different worlds and I know if I get into my comfort zone, I kind of settle. When you go into the unknown and you’re around people you aren’t used to, especially in a place like Miami that’s so diverse, it just motivates me. That’s been one of the big things for me. It’s why I came here. You can’t be comfortable. You have to go out and try some different things and do different things and take some risks.”

Ready to Compete

After closing out the regular season with a solid showing at last month’s Lake Wheeler Invite, Miami’s rowing team returned to Lake Wheeler in North Carolina for this week’s ACC Championships.

During Friday’s competition, each of Miami’s three Varsity Eight boats advanced to Saturday’s conference finals.

Earlier this season, the Hurricanes won the Sunshine State Invitational and had their First Varsity Eight crew earn recognition as the ACC Crew of the Week.

Moving On

With their 5-3 comeback win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night, the Hurricanes secured their spot in next week’s ACC Baseball Championship in Charlotte.

Shortstop JD Urso had a two-run home run in the win, while sophomore reliever Myles Caba struck out six to close out the game and earn a save. Starter Gage Ziehl also struck out six to earn the win.

The Hurricanes and Panthers continue their series at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Friday and Saturday.