Miami Voyzey: Tyrone Grad Flying High at The U

Tyrone grad Erika Voyzey is excelling on the track and in the classroom at Miami.

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The best high jumper and one of the most outstanding athletes to attend Tyrone High School, 2016 grad Erika Voyzey is entering her second year as the number one high jumper for the defending ACC Indoor champion University of Miami Hurricanes.  

Last weekend she placed fifth at the 2018 ACC Indoor Championships at Clemson University in South Carolina.

My finish was exciting, but most importantly, our women have a fantastic team and we all came together to win the ACC indoor championship as a team. First, our trophy was massive, and secondly, it’s ring season!”

— Erika Voyzey

“There was a lot of good competition there,” said Voyzey. “I came in ready to compete and I felt fresh.”

Voyzey is gearing up for her second season of outdoor and is ready to compete against some of the best athletes in the nation.

“That first year I like to call a growing year,” said Voyzey. “While it looked like my jumps were bad, they were just in the process of being perfected.”

Voyzey was a four-time District VI Champion and the only three-time PIAA State Champion in Tyrone history. She also won first place at the prestigious Penn Relays in 2016.

Voyzey chose the University of Miami to continue her track and academic career with the top-ranked Hurricanes in the ACC. She is majoring in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

“I fell in love with the campus and, of course, their track team,” said Voyzey. “The U also has my exact major and tons of research programs right on campus.”

Voyzey is building off of what many would consider a very promising freshman year.

She started the season strong with a jump of 5’10” at Virginia Tech and followed that same pattern of 5’10” for the next couple of meets until an injury slowed her college debut. Voyzey was hurt for rest of the season, but at the ACC Indoor Championships she pulled off a fourth-place finish that helped contribute to the Canes championship effort.

Voyzey then lept into her first outdoor season and although she struggled with another nagging injury, she finished her season with a third in high jump at the ACC Championship Meet, helping her team to an overall third place finish.

“My finish was exciting, but most importantly, our women have a fantastic team and we all came together to win the ACC indoor championship as a team. First, our trophy was massive, and secondly, it’s ring season!” said Voyzey.

According to Voyzey, there is really no offseason when it comes to a major college sport. She had about a month off to recover and get some much needed rest, but since then she has been either working out or competing.

“Erika is our top returning high jumper and she will be a huge part of our [team this season]” said Assistant Jump Coach Rob Jarvis. “She has been amazing to work with. Her knowledge of the high jump, as well as her understanding and working through the technical adjustments we have made, has made it an absolute pleasure to work with her. I am looking forward to guiding her the next few years here at The U.”

She has been amazing to work with. Her knowledge of the high jump, as well as her understanding and working through the technical adjustments we have made, has made it an absolute pleasure to work with her.”

— Assistant Coach Rob Jarvis

As for academics, Voyzey said it was mentally tough to adjust to college at first. Playing a sport and dealing with school gave her no time for any personal life. As a freshman, she had many extra responsibilities, such as attending at least eight hours of study hall a week on top of all of her training.

According to Voyzey, learning time management was the key to get through her busy schedule. She learned that while having a routine is good, it is also important to change things up sometimes. 

“When you know you are going to bed, and will wake up the next day and do the exact same thing as the day before, it gets hard. It’s good to mix it up,” said Voyzey. “Sometimes you get hit with five major exams in a week along with a project, a paper, and another outline and you have to struggle through it. In high school, your classes aren’t as challenging and your teachers try to spread everything out.” 

Another thing that was scary for Voyzey was moving far away from home and not knowing anyone when she arrived. Fortunately for Voyzey, she makes friends easily and has had no problem socializing and acquiring friends.

One person in particular that has helped Voyzey is fellow Canes jumper Amy Taintor. Amy is a senior and first met Erika last year during a jumps practice. 

“Erika always has a positive mindset so I really enjoy training with her. Her attitude is always glass-half-full and it makes practice so much easier than someone who acts like they don’t want to be there,” said Taintor. “I find myself constantly listening to her for high jump advice. She’s very athletic and has so much potential. She’s definitely very competitive in meets.” 

Erika always has a positive mindset so I really enjoy training with her. Her attitude is always “glass half full” and it makes practice so much easier than someone who acts like they don’t want to be there.”

— Teammate Amy Taintor

Like Voyzey, Taintor also came to Miami from a small town, so she can relate well to Voyzey’s experiences. 

“I think it’s amazing that when you’re from such a small place, you’re able to come to a big city like Miami and thrive in everything you do. That’s exactly what Erika has done,” said Taintor. 

So far Erika says loves Miami, the track team, and especially her coaches. They have done everything they can to help her with her athletics and academics, and make her college experience enjoyable.

The Hurricanes are expected to make a run for the ACC Championship this spring and Voyzey is poised to be a big part of the team’s success.

“We’re one adopted family and I’m really excited to keep working 120% with them and finally surpass six feet,” said Voyzey.

 

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