September 23, 2020

FSU’s Hyman ready for summer of a lifetime

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Florida State Seminoles, Kemar Hyman

For a man who possesses Kemar Hyman’s speed, he has quietly snuck up on quite a few people.

Well, everyone but the competition.

The Florida State senior owns the fastest collegiate 100-meter sprint this season with a mark of 10.07 at the ACC Championships in April – the best time that has not been wind-aided. His times are just fractionally ahead of even Florida star Jeff Demps, who was disqualified during the East Preliminary last weekend.

So Hyman has the inside track on the 100 when he travels to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which begin Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa.

“If you look at his races, they have all been very consistent,” FSU sprints coach Ken Harnden said. “Which I hope leads us to a very fast time next week.”

Hyman has been running fast all season. During the indoor season, Hyman ran the 60 meters in 6.56 seconds – tying the record for a sprinter from the Cayman Islands (which was held alone by his good friend and former FSU volunteer assistant Kareem Streete-Thompson).

A year ago, he was also part of the 4×100 relay team that won the NCAA Outdoor title in 38.77 seconds.

Hyman’s hard work on the track has paid off. He began running in the Cayman Islands at 7 but said he wasn’t serious about it until his junior year of high school. His times were consistently among the best in the small group of islands, which are located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.

“I found that I really liked track and it had a lot of benefits,” Hyman said. “It has really been a great experience for me.”

He began to qualify for meets around the Caribbean and saw where track and field could take him.

But Hyman was also fortunate to have come away from Hurricane Ivan unscathed. The storm hit the islands in September 2004, and a 15-year-old Hyman watched as the majority of the homes and businesses were devastated by the storm.

The storm surge affected nearly everyone. But Hyman’s house was built up on a hill and suffered only minor damage, like broken windows. He remembers the storm well, and it left an impression on him.

“I can remember it like it was yesterday,” Hyman said. “I remember my mom crying. There was a lot of water, and we thought it was going to come in (the house).

“It was really a struggle to get everything back to normal. It was a point in my life when I didn’t really take anything for granted.”

After high school, he attended King’s College on Grand Cayman [iNews Jamaica?] to improve his academics and then transferred to FSU before his junior year. Hyman recently earned a degree in economics with a minor in marketing.

While his sights are set on the NCAA Outdoors, Hyman also benefits from being a college senior who is peaking as the 2012 London Games approach in July.

He has already qualified for London and will represent the Cayman Islands when the preliminaries for the 100 meters are held Aug. 4.

“I never thought that it would be me,” Hyman said. “I always thought it was going to be somebody else. I really came from the bottom up. For me to produce this and see myself going forward is really good. It’s a relief that I’ve put in so much hard work and it’s really paying off.”

Hyman never thought he would reach such heights on the track, but he has followed the path of Caymanians like Streete-Thompson and female sprinter Cydonie Mothersille. His work ethic and soft-spoken, humble nature have made them proud of his achievements.

“I was down there a few weeks ago,” Hyman said. “And Cydonie said, ‘I’m glad you are coming up, and you’re a fine young man. I want somebody to take over that legacy.’ For her to say something like that made me feel like I’m ready and I’m supposed to take this on.”

Hyman is coming up on his final college meet and is about two months away from his first Olympics. He could be enjoying the summer of a lifetime.

“The times speak for themselves,” Harnden said. “He’s snuck up on everybody but his competitors.”

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