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Five must-see athletes currently competing at Miami University


<p>Miami University isn&#x27;t necessarily known for its athletics, but it certainly has some elite athletes to please any sports fan.</p>

Miami University isn't necessarily known for its athletics, but it certainly has some elite athletes to please any sports fan.

It’s the start of a new semester at Miami University, and excitement is building as first-year students settle in and familiar faces return. However, many Miami athletes have been on campus since mid-summer, engaged in rigorous preseason training, preparing not only to establish new legacies but also to carry forward past triumphs.

Here’s a look at five returning Miami athletes that have had unprecedented success on their fields. 

Isabelle Perese — Field Hockey

The senior goalkeeper from Worthington, Ohio, has proven to be an indispensable force guarding the net. She has collected a number of accolades including Mid-American Conference (MAC) Goalkeeper of the Year, Academic All-District, Second Team All-American and First Team All-Region. Perese had an outstanding 2022 season, leading the nation in save percentage with an 82.6%, a feat achieved while starting every single competition. 

She became Miami’s all-time leader in career shutouts, reaching 21 shutouts, after recording five in the 2022 season. She has earned a place in the top three in program history in career scoring defense and minutes played. Additionally, her goals against average (GAA) of 0.94 ranked her third in the country. She allowed a mere 21 goals in 22 games. With these exceptional contributions, Perese has played a pivotal role in the program’s six-year streak of sweeping MAC conference titles, solidifying her status as a top-tier athlete.

Danny Fisher — Golf

Among the top athletes at Miami, Danny Fisher, a senior from Lake Forest, Illinois, has shown extraordinary talent on the course during the last few years. In the 2022 and 2023 seasons, Fisher secured Second Team All-MAC selections and Academic All-MAC honors.

Last season, Fisher played 38 rounds and averaged 72.89 strokes per round. His exceptional performance this past season earned him MAC Golfer of the Week twice this March. To finish off the season, he placed second at the MAC Championship. Most recently, in July, Fisher earned a spot in the 123rd United States Golf Association Amatuer Championship, which takes place this August. 

Camber Hayes — Soccer

No player better embodies the phrase “student-athlete” than Camber Hayes. This October, Hayes will be presented with the Leann Grimes Davidge Award that recognizes a female athlete who exemplifies “outstanding qualities of leadership, scholarship, community service, sportsmanship, and athletic achievement,” according to the Miami University Athletic Department. On the field, Hayes’ leadership shines brightly. She was appointed team captain in her first year and led the team to its best record in seven years during the 2022 season.  She had a career-high eight assists, led outfielders on the team with nearly 1,800 minutes played and received several accolades including Academic All-MAC, All-MAC First Team, Academic All-District First Team and All-Midwest Second Team.

In April, Hayes became the first athlete in Miami and MAC history to be named the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year for her commitment on and off the field, including her work with Athletes in Action and Feed the Hungry.

Ryland Zaborowski — Baseball

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Zaborowski, a transfer from Yavapai College, quickly made an impact on Miami’s baseball team. In a standout 2023 season, he led the conference with 20 home runs, one short of breaking Miami’s single-season record. Two of these came during his RedHawk debut against Georgia Tech. He also topped the conference in slugging percentage at .686 and ranked top five in on-base and slugging percentage (OPS) and total bases. Zaborowski led the team in hits, RBI, and runs. 

In April, he was named MAC Co-Player of the Week after an impressive grand slam against Ohio State University and a walk-off homer against Kent State University. In June, he earned Hitter of the Week in the MLB Draft League, batting .455 with two home runs and six RBI in three games, leading all hitters in the league in multiple categories.

Karli Spaid — Softball

Few athletes shine as brightly as Karli Spaid, a trailblazing third baseman from Chicago, Illinois. In her debut season, Spaid’s outstanding performance earned her the titles of First-Team All-MAC and MAC Freshman of the year. With an impressive .403 batting average, she ranked fourth-best in Miami’s single-season history.

On the international stage, Spaid represented Team USA’s Junior National team, claiming gold at the World Cup in Peru. Success continued into her sophomore year as Spaid became the first player in program history to be named a Third Team National FastPitch Coaches Association All-American and secured national top 10 rankings in several key statistical categories. Spaid holds Miami’s career records for career batting average, home runs, runs scored and RBI, in addition to single-season school records for runs, home runs and RBI — all set during her remarkable 2022 season. Spaid’s achievements have been instrumental in leading her team to three consecutive MAC Championships, cementing her legacy as a true powerhouse in Miami softball.