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Published 03/17/2017
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@CanesTrack Starts Strong at Hurricane Invitational

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami track and field program got off to a strong start on the opening day of the Hurricane Invitational.

The Canes had three student-athletes win their events, with one running one of the best times in school history, and had nine student-athletes post personal bests on the first day of the 2017 outdoor season.

Gabrielle Hesslau won the women’s 5000m with a personal best time of 17:10.32 that ranks fourth all-time in UM history. Carla Rodriguez finished sixth with a personal best time of 18:41.65.

“I am really pleased with Gabby and Sean and how they opened up,” Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem said. “They got a nice opener at home and it was a great day and night for track and field.”

Sean Grossman won the men’s 5000m with a personal best time of 14:51.87, leading a quintet of Canes to finish in the top 10 of the race. Jonathan Keller was third with a personal best time of 15:20.83, while Sean Hagert was fifth with a personal best time of 15:34.37 to give the Canes three of the top five finishers. Michael Miano was sixth with a personal best time of 15:37.40 and Nick Kaleel’s personal-best time of 15:50.73 gave him a ninth place finish.

“I think it was really good to show that the last few weeks of training since ACC indoors have really progressed,” Grossman said. It was great to do it on my home track and a good eye opener to what the rest of the season is going to bring. I’m also really happy with what we did as a group. It shows that all the hard work we put in every day on the track really came together. To make it happen in a race is what it’s all about.”

Miami also excelled in the field events on Friday, with several strong performances in the hammer throw and pole vault.

Carlos Mangum finished second in the men’s hammer throw with a mark of 63.46m. Karyna Armstrong was third in the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 53.23m, while Zakiya Rashid finished fourth with a personal best throw of 51.50m. Sherry Lubin finished 11th with a mark of 38.33m.

“We were strong in the weight throw. Carlos threw really well today and Zakiya had a big personal best. There was definitely excitement of being outdoors and being at home. We’ve challenged them this week for some things in the outdoor season and hopefully this is the first step in meeting some of those challenges.”

Emily Gale won the women’s pole vault with a mark of 3.65m, while Andreas Christodoulou finished third in the men’s pole vault with a personal best mark of 4.55m.

“I am excited for the weekend, maybe more so than normal,” Deem said. “I am excited to give the opportunity to a lot of our kids that didn’t get to run as much as I would have liked indoors. These next couple of weeks they are really going to get an opportunity to get out and compete and improve and I think we are going to be a better team for it in the long run.”

Saturday is set to be action packed, with the men’s and women’s javelin kicking off the day at 10 a.m. Running events begin at 1 p.m., with the women’s 4x100m relay and the day will conclude with the men’s 4x400m relay at 4:50 p.m.

Three hours of Saturday’s action will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra, beginning at 1 p.m., with AJ Ricketts and Juan Arango on the call.

Following this weekend’s action, the Canes are back in action at the Hurricane Collegiate Invitational on March 25. To view the complete Miami Track and Field schedule for the 2017 season, click here.  

For all the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow the official Twitter feed, @MiamiHurricanes, or "Like Us" on Facebook at Follow @MiamiTrack on Twitter for specific news on UM track and field and cross countryThe program is also on Instagram.