Senior outrunning nation’s top competition

Before her junior year of high school, Murielle Ahoure and her family moved from one small town in Virginia to another. She didn’t know any of her classmates and had no idea how she would fit in.

It was her counselor who first advised Ahoure to go out for track and even took her to meet the coach.

“I tried it and thought, ‘wow, I could go to school for this.’ I’ve been running ever since,” she said.

Now, the senior sprinter holds the nation’s fastest times in two indoor events this spring – the 60 and 200-meters.

“I still can’t believe it. It’s been a really smooth transition and I’m just ecstatic,” Ahoure said. “When I ran the 7.17 I was just running relaxed and basically without thinking about time at all. I looked up at the board and it was like, ‘oh my goodness!’ I was shocked. It was really, really nice.”

In doing so, she broke alumna Lauryn Williams’ record.

“I really, really look up to her, so the fact that I was able to do that just touched me. She’s been one of my idols for the longest time,” said the reigning ACC Indoor Track and Field Performer of the Week.

Williams, who continues to train with Amy Deem, the director of track and field and cross country at UM, has met Ahoure several times on the track at Cobb Stadium.

Ahoure said that one of the main reasons she transferred from George Mason was because her idol continued to train with the Hurricanes staff.

Deem, an 18-year coaching veteran at Miami, sees great potential in the young athlete.

“She’s a very talented young lady. She’s still very raw, very young in the sport. We’re excited about her future,” Deem said. “Right now she’s still figuring things out. She’s eager to learn, eager to please.”

So far this spring indoor season, the criminology major has yet to lose an individual event, going five for five. She also is a member of the sixth-ranked 4×400 relay with junior Kristy Whyte and sophomores Tameka Jameson and Ti’erra Brown.

“I think number one is she’s healthy. She’s had some injuries in the past and we’re trying to really stay on top of those,” Deem said. “We really spent a lot of time getting her a little bit stronger. She’s running with some of the best in the world.”

Ahoure and the No. 14 women’s track and field team will compete in the ACC Indoor Championships in Blacksburg, Va., starting today. NCAA championships are set to take place in mid-March, with the outdoor season to begin soon after.

“Being a teammate of Murielle’s has been really amazing. This is my first year with her and I try to feed off of what she does,” sophomore sprinter Tara Thomas said. “She’s really a teammate, a leader; she motivates me to practice and to run good in my events. I really look up to her.”

At practice, Ahoure is clad in bright colors – from orange Nike tights to yellow fingernails and green eye shadow – and it’s still hard to make her out as more than a blur on the track.

“I will be here for the rest of my life…hopefully,” Ahoure teased. “I’ve been falling in love with the school and I feel like I’m on cloud nine right now. My teammates have really reached out to me and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible, which I really appreciate because they showed me what it is to be a Hurricane. It feels great and I’m loving it.”