State Colleges

Miami Hurricanes diving coach continues legacy of excellence

University of Miami Olympian divers - Sam Dorman, left, Marcela Maric, center, and diving coach Randy Ableman are heading to the Rio Olympic Summer Games and are photographed at the University of Miami's Whitten University Center Pool.
University of Miami Olympian divers - Sam Dorman, left, Marcela Maric, center, and diving coach Randy Ableman are heading to the Rio Olympic Summer Games and are photographed at the University of Miami's Whitten University Center Pool. cjuste@miamiherald.com

Randy Ableman has built something special with his Miami Hurricanes diving program.

Here’s why: There are three men’s and three women’s NCAA diving national champions crowned each year. And in 28 years running the UM program, Ableman has produced 13 different champions and a total of 22 championships, including redshirt freshman David Dinsmore of Ohio this year.

Abelman, the reigning ACC Coach of the Year who is known as a strong teacher of technique, said the divers he gets are already talented, and he takes pride in making them even better.

“I try to give the kids a plan,” Abelman said. “We study a lot of film on the best divers in the world and see where the differences lie.”

Briadam Herrera, a junior who was born in Cuba and came to Miami just days before his 15th birthday, could be Miami’s next national champ. He finished second in the 3-meter springboard and fifth in the one-meter springboard last month.

The reigning ACC Diver of the Year, Herrera has qualified for the FINA World Championships in Synchronized Diving, which will be held July 14-22 in Budapest, Hungary.

BASEBALL

▪ Archbishop McCarthy pitcher Joe Perez, one of several prep stars who have signed with the Hurricanes for next season, might not end up in Coral Gables, depending on the June draft.

But Perez, interviewed last week before the start of the “Big 12” prep tournament, was not down on the Canes, despite their struggles this season.

“It happens to the best teams in the country,” Perez said of the UM slump. “Being able to go there next year and possibly make the team better … We’re hopefully going to end up there and make things happen.”

▪ The NSU baseball team, ranked 17th in the nation, can really hit. The defending NCAA Division II national champs have seven starters batting over .300. All nine starters have OPS over .800. And NSU entered the weekend with 64 homers compared to 38 for their opponents.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

▪ NSU has signed five players, all guards, for next season. Four of them are from high school and one is a junior college transfer.

Three of the guards are from Broward County: 5-9 Destiny Walters from Hallandale; 5-7 Taylor Smith and 5-8 Skyla Osceola, both from American Heritage. The other high school guard is 5-9 Hailey Conley from Connecticut. And the junior college transfer is 5-5 Bree Matthews, who is originally from Australia.

The Sharks are expected to sign one more recruit for this class, probably another guard as the team returns three solid post players.

▪ ESPN recently listed ex-Canes guard Riquna Williams as one of the six post first-round steals in the past four WNBA drafts.

Another ex-Canes guard, Adrienne Motley, was drafted in third round last week and will have a shot at becoming the next steal, but she has to revert to the form she showed earlier in her career.

TRACK

FIU’s Clarissa Cutliff, a sophomore from Orlando, is having a big season, setting school records for the high jump indoors (1.85 meters) and outdoors (1.82).

In February, she won the Conference USA indoor high jump championship at Birmingham, Alabama. In March at College Station, Texas, she tied for 13th at the NCAA Championships, becoming a second-team All-American.

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