Miami Hurricanes Sign Six

University of Miami swimming & diving coaches Andy Kershaw and Randy Ableman announced the addition of six freshmen to the roster for the 2014-15 season.

Divers Briadam Herrera and Wally Layland, alongside swimmers Jessica Hurley, Rebeka Repman, Julie Suarez and Tal Tahori, have joined the Hurricanes for what promises to be another exciting season in the ACC.

Herrera moved to Miami with his family from Cuba five years ago, and competed locally at Gulliver Preparatory. Herrera hopes to be able to compete internationally for USA once he gains citizenship.

“He’s an unbelievable talent,” Ableman said of Herrera. “It’s a great accomplishment for him to be able to come to a school like Miami and get a college education. We’re super excited. It’s not just the diving, it’s going to be great for his life; he has a very exciting future both in diving and in school.”

Layland, who won first place in the 3-meter event at the 2012 USA Diving Junior National Championships, is a Hurricane legacy. Her father Lenny was also a diver at UM and is a UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

“She was a great high school diver in Florida, and she represented the US internationally as a junior,” Ableman said. “She accomplished so much in high school, including at the Pan Am games within the last few years. The tradition will continue with a great diving Layland here at UM.”

Kershaw is equally as excited about the four swimmers who have joined the Hurricanes: Hurley, Repman, Suarez and Tahori.

“This group of swimmers is not only talented, but also extremely driven,” Kershaw said. “Knowing how hungry our returnees are to improve, I think adding this class will help us take a huge step forward. We will see that first in our workouts, and have no doubt it will translate to our competitions.”

Hurley, a specialist in the butterfly events, joins Miami after a standout career at nearby Fort Myers Senior High School.

“As the daughter of two Hurricanes, Jessica’s excitement and enthusiasm about being a Cane is contagious,” Kershaw said. “She will be a great addition to butterfly group which will be one of our strengths this year. We have no doubt Jessica is willing to put in the work and will swim fast as a result.”

Repman, who caught the eye of the coaching staff swimming for Serbia at last year’s European Championships, will serve as a key addition to the freestyle group.

“Rebeka is a very driven sprint freestyler, and has had success while training in unique conditions in Serbia,” Kershaw said. “For a while this spring she was training in a canal while her pool was closed. We can’t wait to see what she can do when she has the luxury of the facilities and resources at The U.”

Suarez had an impressive four-year stint at Forest Hill Community High School in West Palm Beach, where she excelled in backstroke events. She served as a team captain for her final three seasons.

“Julie has all of the tools to be a great collegiate swimmer, and we can’t wait to help her develop them even further,” Kershaw said. “She has great explosion off the blocks, is great underwater and is a great athlete.”

Tahori, who will provide talent and depth to the middle distance freestyle group, figures to play a key role early on in her career after swimming internationally for Israel. She competed in the renowned Maccabiah Games in 2009 and in 2013.

“There is no doubt Tal will be relied on heavily in our meets,” Kershaw said. “She comes to us from Israel where she has spent the last two years in the military. She will certainly provide great maturity and perspective to the program.”

Miami opens its season with the All-Florida Invite in Gainesville, Fla., from Oct. 3-5.

College Swimming News courtesy of the University of Miami swimming & diving.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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