Blazing Their Own Trails

Blazing Their Own Trails

Gabriella Grissom’s father, Marquis, was a professional athlete, too – a World Series winner, a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner during a 16-year Major League Baseball career that included stops Montreal, Atlanta, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Her brother, Marquis Jr., played baseball at Georgia Tech before being drafted by the Washington Nationals and like Hebron, Grissom grew up surrounded by athletic siblings who challenged her to more than a few intense games of driveway hoops.

Needless to say, Hebron and Grissom bonded almost instantly.

“It’s honestly really funny because we were talking, and we were just like ‘That’s so weird. Our dads are so similar,’” Hebron said. “And then on top of that, we may not have the same kind of personality, but we work very well together. It’s kind of funny how we have so many similarities outside of track.”

Said Grissom, “Everyone was introducing each other, and she was like ‘My dad plays football’ and I was like ‘My dad plays baseball.’ She was like ‘My mom does this,’ and I was like ‘My mom does that, too.’ So, yeah, we definitely have a lot of similarities and I’m glad that she’s my roommate. She’s very competitive as well and she works hard…She can motivate me, I can motivate her…If one of us is having a rough day, we both understand because we both go out there, we both do hard workouts, we go through the same things. It’s just having somebody to relate to.”

Already, the two freshmen have made an impact for the Hurricanes.

Hebron has notched one of the top 10 times in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles with a mark of 56.08 and is one of the favorites to win the event at this weekend’s ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while Grissom has contributed points in both her individual events and on the Hurricanes’ 4×400 relay team.

There have been challenges, adjusting to the competition at the collegiate level and being away from home for the first time among them, but as the two grow closer to the end of their freshman seasons, their coach said she is plenty proud of the progress both have made.

“They’ve been a great addition to our team. They’re very focused, they’re very driven and they’re very team oriented,” said Amy Deem, Miami’s Director of Track & Field and Cross Country. “It’s just been really fun to watch them become a part of the track and field family. The upperclassmen have…

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