Miami track and field travels to New Mexico, impresses in several events

Photo credit: Miami Athletics

While Miami’s other sports teams competed on the East Coast over the weekend, track and field traveled to the dry desert of New Mexico for its third meet of the season.

Away from Coral Gables and its humidity, the ‘Canes had several standout performances at the New Mexico Invite on Friday and Saturday.

Senior Ayman Zahafi started the first day well, representing the men’s team high up on the scoreboard. The Morocco native ran the 800m in 1:47.44, the second fastest time on Friday.

Angelo State transfer Décio Andrade had a strong performance in the men’s hammer throw event. On his last attempt, Andrade launched the hammer 21.64 meters, landing him in the top three in the event for the weekend. Andrade has finished in the top three in the event at every indoor meet this season for the ‘Canes.

Soon after, Miami native Natalie Varela ran the 800m. Varela finished with a time of 2:05.85 for a third-place finish and a new personal record. Two other Hurricane runners, Emma Maurel and Gabriella Grissom, finished with sub2:08 times to make the top 10 in the 800m on Friday.

Junior sprinter Moriah Oliveira was another athlete that stood out in the desert. Oliveira set her new personal best time for indoor track when she ran the 400-meter dash in 52.52 seconds. Then, Oliveira joined her teammates in the 4×400 run. Earning the third place bronze medal, the combination of Oliveira, Grissom, Sanaa Hebron and Blanca Hervas finished with a time of 3:34.10.

In the field, junior Ashley Moore vaulted herself 12.97m in the triple jump, a distance good enough for a third-place finish. Moore’s leap put her in the top five in Miami’s indoor triple jump record book.

Next up, the ‘Canes will travel in conference to Clemson to compete in the Tiger Paw Invitational on Feb. 10, before the ACC Championships in Louisville from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25.