Swift Sailing

Recognition System

Sailing ’Canes Brogan Abernathy and Nick Voss placed fourth at the 2010 Rose Bowl Regatta.

The Sailing ’Canes glided into 11th place along the Charles River during the Atlantic Coast Championships at Harvard last November and wrapped their fall season ranked No. 13 by the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). The feat proved the club can jibe and tack with the best collegiate teams in the nation despite having no budget for travel, coaches, or other vital training resources. UM’s young sailors, the only top-25 team in the ICSA’s South Atlantic District with an all-volunteer coaching crew, are determined to qualify for the national championships—and to raise enough money for transportation and other related expenses. Professor Bill Johns, who is among the faculty and staff advising and coaching the club’s approximately 30 student sailors gratis, is blown away by their momentum. “To have come from a start-up team in 2004 to a top-20 ranking in five years is an amazing achievement,” he says, “unprecedented in college sailing.”

SportsFest Spirit Still Going Strong

Recognition System

King Henry of Stanford reigns at SportsFest 25.

When elementary school teacher Lisa (Saperstein) Meltzer, B.S.C. ’88, M.F.A. ’90, saw one of her students in a 2010 SportsFest T-shirt, it took her back—way back. “To think it’s already 25 years is mind-boggling,” says Meltzer, who met Stuart Meltzer, B.S.M.E. ’89, M.B.A. ’90, in the dorms around the time of UM’s first SportsFest.

Unlike her husband’s original T-shirt from the event, which he wore for so long it began to disintegrate, this popular UM tradition has stood the test of time, starting in 1986 with the “Honors Residential College” (Hecht) challenging “The Residential College” (Stanford) to a sporting contest (Hecht won). As residential colleges were added, they too were invited to participate. “The focus of the event has been and remains building community within and between the residential colleges at the University of Miami,” states the introduction to the 45-page SportsFest Handbook.

This past February 19 to 21, the sun edged out a cold front as a crowd of 2,450 athletes once again pursued the honorable SportsFest victory cup on the intramural fields. Forty men’s and 35 women’s teams vied in 28 different sports and activities— from tug of war, badminton, and wallyball to a canoe race around Lake Osceola and even video games. In the end, each residence had a chance to chant its own cheer before players and fans alike erupted in a spirited rendition of “It’s Great to Be a Miami Hurricane.”

For the ninth year in a row, the trophy for most points by a Residential College went to Hecht, bringing its overall SportsFest wins to 13. “In Hecht, we’re told we have to win,” said freshman Jillian Hopkins. “We really don’t have a choice.”

In It to WNIT

For the first time in school history, UM women’s basketball advanced to a postseason tournament championship. After road wins against Providence and Michigan during the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the Hurricanes lost the April 3 title game to California’s Golden Bears, 61-73. The team’s nine-win improvement from the previous year was the most since its 1991-92 season.