Most impactful UM senior athletes of the school year

Photo credit: Josh White

The University of Miami brings in some of the country’s best athletes every year, leading to record-breaking performances in just about every sport the school has to offer.

But every season, each UM program looks to its seniors to lead the way. The pressures to reach success on and off the field fall heavily on their shoulders.

Here are the five seniors that have thrived in that role:

1. Jeb Bargfeldt – Baseball

The southpaw pitcher from Owasso, Oklahoma, has made his presence felt from the moment he stepped on the mound in Coral Gables.

After transferring from Cisco College following his sophomore year, Bargfeldt proved his talents immediately during the 2017 season, serving as the team’s ace. He recorded a 2.28 ERA and earned second-team All-ACC honors.

In the 2018 season, his numbers don’t look quite as glossy, but he is still getting the job done on Friday nights. Bargfeldt holds a 3.94 ERA, and despite posting just a 2-3 record, he is still the Hurricanes’ captain and a leader who keeps the team’s emotions steady during games.

In a season during which Miami has suffered a handful of series opening losses while struggling offensively, Bargfeldt’s performance has become that much more vital. And he doesn’t let bad outings affect his mindset.

“For me, I have to stay on, attacking hitters and not worrying about if I missed a pitch,” he said after a win over Rutgers on opening day Feb. 16.

2. Erykah Davenport – Basketball

The 6-foot-2 forward/center from Decatur, Georgia, led the Canes to their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament during the 2017-18 season – an accomplishment few thought UM would reach following the graduation of its three leading scorers the previous season.

Davenport, who majors in broadcast journalism, dominated on both sides of the court, averaging 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds a night while also serving as the team’s defensive anchor. She doubled her averages from the previous year, a testament to her hard work and drive.

She grew into her role as a leader, not only guiding her team to victories, but also mentoring the young players, including five freshmen.

Davenport’s role as a vocal team captain paid dividends throughout the season, leading to a 21-11 overall record and a 10-6 conference record. She earned Second Team All-ACC honors.

“She is always there, but you don’t necessarily feel like she is,” junior forward Emese Hof said. “There was no extra pressure from her. She let everyone grow to their fullest potential, and that was a big part of how she handled herself as a senior and a captain on the team.”

3. Christian Langmo – Tennis

The 6-foot-3 athlete from Boca Raton, Florida, is ranked nationally in both singles and doubles competition – No. 123 and No. 50, respectively.

In his four years at Miami, Langmo has been on the ACC Honor Roll twice, during the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.

He will graduate with a degree in international studies and plans to play tennis professionally.

Langmo has posted a 12-7 singles record in the No. 1 spot for the Hurricanes, going undefeated in his first seven home matches in the spring and recording a 10-game winning streak at one point.

4. Amy Taintor – Track and Field

The Storrs, Connecticut, native competing in combined events has set records both in and out of the classroom.

Taintor, a public relations major, was named to the 2018 All-ACC Academic Team, among seven others.

“I am proud of these eight student-athletes for their continued dedication to excellence in academics and athletics,” Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem said. “All eight of them have been outstanding leaders in the classroom and in their event areas, and I am happy to see them earn recognition for their effort and success.”

Taintor earned a bronze medal in the pentathlon at the 2018 ACC Indoor Championships to close her season. She posted the third-best score in UM history with her personal best record of 3,967 points.

5. Sean Grossman – Track and Field/Cross Country

The distance runner from Dix Hills, New York, is gaining momentum as he closes his senior season.

At the Virginia Challenge Saturday, April 21, Grossman broke the 30-minute mark in the men’s 10,000-meter to set a school record. He recorded a sixth place finish with a personal-best time of 29:38.64. The time is ranked in the top five in program history.

“It was a magical night tonight in the 10K,” Miami distance coach Damon Griffiths said. “We came in with a goal of achieving a regional mark. Sean surpassed all expectations during his race. To finish with a 30-second PR and beat some elite runners was special.”

Grossman will graduate with a degree in architectural engineering.