2009 Men’s Conference Co-Champions: Florida State and Virginia
2009 Women’s Conference Championships: Florida State
- Jacoby Ford,Clemson, 10.28, -0.4 W, 100
- Michael Bingham, Wake Forest, 45.32, 400
- Kevin Williams, Florida State, 46.28, 400
- Javier Garcia Tunon, Florida State, 50.38, 400m hurdles
- Marcel Lomnicky, Virginia Tech,70.73m, 232-01 10 HT
- Matthias Treff, Virginia Tech, 73.11m, 239-10 JT
- Thomas Sensing, Wake Forest, 67.93m, 222-10 JT
- Murielle Ahoure, Miami, 11.36, 100
- Candyce Mcgrone, Florida State,11.45
- Murielle Ahoure, Miami, 23.07, 2.7W, 200
- Kristy Whyte, Miami, 23.28, 2.7W, 200
- Britany St. Louis, Florida State, 52.97, 400
- Michelle Fedrick, Maryland,53.22, 400,
- Pilar Mcshine, Florida State, 4:20.83, 1500
- Molly Lehman, Duke, 4:21.11, 1500
- Morgane Gay, Virginia, 4:22.43, 1500
- Queen Harrison, Virginia Tech, 13.14, -1.1 W, 100 hurdles
- Kristi Castlin,Virginia Tech, 13.28, -1.1W, 100 hurdles
- Queen Harrison, Virginia Tech, 56.03, 400m hurdles
- Latoya James, North Carolina, 56.38, 400m hurdes
- Asia Washington, Virginia Tech, 56.90, 400m hurdles
- Florida State, 44.3, 4×100m
- Florida State, 3:34.75, 4×400
- North Carolina,3:36.01, 4×400
- Meghan Brigg, 49.37m, 162-00, JV
Don’t sleep on Murielle Ahoure. The collegiate with perhaps the most potential of any non-professional track and field runner in America is committed to becoming the best track runner she can be.
After three successful years at George Mason, Ahoure packed her bags and transferred to the University of Miami, in order to train in the heat and intensity that she felt would be most conducive to living up to her own expectations. Miami’s tropical climate more closely resembles that of her native land in Ivory Coast than nearly anywhere else.
When Murielle was a teenager, her mother Chantal Doue relocated the family from the Ivory Coast in West Africa in order to live the American dream because she thought that Murielle had potential. A NCAA Indoor 200 meter title and three-time All-American honors later, we’ll say, no kidding.
While her start is lightening quick, and she’s a capable runner with quick feet, the appeal to her track game is not her raw physical attributes. Instead, what makes her special are her intangibles. Ahoure upside is huge. She is relatively new to the track game having picked up the sport during her junior year in high school at the behest of her guidance counselor at Hayfield High School in Alexandria, Virginia as a way to make new friends. The Miami track champion’s attitude is too cool to sweat and relaxed under pressure even while competing against the nation’s elite talent.
“I really keep things simple and try to focus on whatever is in front of me in order to keep my mind clear,” said Ahoure said in a phone interview last week from Miami. “My coach says that I’m a baby and that is so true because I feel like I learn something new every day in this sport,” said Ahoure.
The Miami senior has shown flashes of greatness. During the indoors season, she put down 7.17 over 60 meters, which at the time was the fastest run in the nation. Her potential is relatively untapped and her future is bright.
PreRaceJitters caught up with Miami’s Murielle Ahoure and here is what she had to say.
PRJ: Thank you for taking time to speak with PreRaceJitters.com and congratulations on your indoor tite. Your time of 22.80 seconds not only won the NCAA 200 meter indoor title but is also the fastest indoor time in the world. Looking back at College Station was it a coming out party for you both nationally and internationally?
MA: Yes, it was really exciting. It was a brand new facility and track. I was so happy to be there. The 200 meters is definitely not my strongest event, which is why I was shocked at the results. I just went out there and competed to be best of my abilities. I am stronger at shorter races, so the last 50 meters in the 200 meter is the toughest part of my race. I was trying to keep it together. In my mind, the 200 is super long and that is why I really prefer the 100 meters.
PRJ: What does it feel like to hear someone say “Murielle Ahoure, NCAA 200 Meter indoor national champion?”
MA: Oh my gosh! It has been my dream since starting running at the collegiate level. It means so much because, I’ve worked really hard and all of that hard work really paid off.
PRJ: Was it an American dream come true when you crossed the title and won the race?
MA: It was unbelievable. I never really thought that I would win. I came into the meet with that as my goal but it wasn’t real until I crossed the line because I’ve believed for so long but wasn’t sure that it would come true.
PRJ: What do you credit for your improved performance from your 12th place finish last year in the 60- meters to National Champion in the 200 meters at this years NCAA indoor meet?
MA: The biggest item I can identify is my improved strength through the weight room. That along with training in a new program, a new coach and new training environment. I think it helped me to come to Miami where I can train outdoors the whole year. We’ve been focusing on lifting heavy and becoming more powerful. For the first time in my career, I’ve been doing lots of body weight exercises like lunges, sled pulls and things like that to build power and explosion.
PRJ: What if any influence has former Hurricane and Olympian Lauryn Williams had on your career so far? Did she give you any advice prior going into the NCAA Indoor Nationals? If so, what did she say?
MA: Lauren and I train on the same track everyday but we don’t train together. But Lauryn always makes herself available to answer any questions. Lauren told me to just go out there and run and to not let to my nerves get the best of me. Just being in her presence is enough for me. Lauren is a nice person, amazing athlete and I look up to her for who she is and what she has accomplished in her career.
PRJ: Now that the indoor season is completed, what will your training regime be like over the next month to six weeks in preparation for NCAA Outdoor Championships and the U.S. National Championships?
MA: I rested for two week after NCAA Indoors. The next month or so is really going to be pretty intense. Coach will have me doing some crazy workouts. Now we are really focusing on the ACC championships which is taking place in two week. More than likely I will run the 100, 200 and 4×100 meter relay at the conference meet.
PRJ: Originally you ran for George Mason. What led to your transfer to Miami and how would you assess your decision to become a Cane?
MA: It’s always been amazing. I remember falling in love with the school as a freshmen when I came to compete in the Hurricane Invitational. The weather in Miami is tropical and wonderful. I pretty much feel like I’m on a vacation every day of my life since I’ve been here. The beach is 15 minutes away and I go to there pretty much every week. Surprisingly it [transferring] was a smooth transition and the biggest thing that I had to deal with was the heat and humidity coming from a cold state in Virginia. Once I got used to training in the heat everything was fine. My teammates really welcomed my arrival with open arms.
PRJ: Looking forward to the outdoor season. What are your goals for NCAA Outdoor season and the U.S. National Championships
MA: Right now, I am focused on the ACC Championships which take place in two weeks. I just want to be competitive and to be good. I want to be one of the best in the world at what I do. One of my strengths is to focus on the things in front of me and then to worry about the rest later on when we get there.
Switching gears a bit.
PRJ:What are the top five artists on your iPod right now?
MA: Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Marvin Gaye, Ne-Yo, and India.Arie
PRJ: What is your favorite television show can you not live without?
MA: All of the shows on VH-1. Who doesn’t? They are my guilty pleasures.
PRJ: Who inspired you to begin running?
MA: My high school counselor at Hayfield High School recommended that I get involved with the track team. He said that joining a team great way to make meet new people and make some new friends.
PRJ: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
MA: Beyonce. I love her music and she is a legend in what she does.
PRJ: What is your top travel destination that you would like to visit?
MA: The Pyramid in Egypt and the Nile River.
PRJ: Again, thanks for your time and good luck with your season.
Words by Jay Hicks and images by Jeff Squires.