Celebrating A Special Group

UM Terps | Track & Field Staff - May 14, 2024

Three InfoSci students were honored for their contributions to the UMD Track & Field program

UMD Track & Field athletes holding awards.

On Friday evening, Maryland track and field honored a special group of senior for their contributions to the program. The groups’ and their accomplishments are highlighted below.

Jayla Bynum is a shot putter, completing her second Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. In two years at Maryland, Jayla has thrown the 5th best mark indoors and 6th best mark outdoors while qualifying for NCAA East Prelims in both years. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career working in community engagement and mental health advocacy areas while working towards graduate school to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Madison Depry is a sprinter, currently majoring in French.  She will finish her degree program while competing next year and then pursue a master’s in computer science. Maddie has received the Big Ten distinguished scholar award for her academic excellence. She also ranks #8 All Time in the 300m dash and has contributed to events ranging from the jumps to sprints to relays during her career.

Amanda Eliker is a distance runner majoring in Public Health Science. She will take a gap year while preparing to apply to physician’s assistants school next year. Amanda has contributed to many successful teams finishes during the cross-country season including the Big Ten Championship finish. On the track she set personal bests in the 1500m during her senior year at Maryland.

Katie Ericson is a distance runner majoring in Kinesiology. She will be attending Northwestern next year to pursue a graduate degree in prosthetics and orthotics. Katie is heavily involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee as the vice president of the organization.  When she is not busy engaging the campus community and student-athlete body in these events, she is out training for the longest events on the track with the 5k and cross country as her primary event areas.

Kami Joi Hickson is a middle-distance runner, majoring in Kinesiology. She will continue her education next year in the Smith Business school earning her master’s in business management studies.  Kami boosts many accolades for the program including being a member of the 4x800m school record team. She ranks #4 all time in the indoor 800m, #6 in the outdoor 800m, #6 in the indoor 600m, and #8 in the 1000m. Kami is also recently engaged and will be married in the summer of 2025.

Kyra Lyles is a sprinter, majoring in Sociology. She plans to pursue coaching after graduation in hopes of helping young athletes. Kyra earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for her academic pursuits. She ranks #4 All-Time in the indoor 600m and has been a part of the 4x400m relays during her career at Maryland to help the overall team performances.

Kirstin Nichols is a distance runner, majoring in Journalism. She will finish this degree in August and a secondary degree in Social Data Science on the Economics track in December. She will then continue to pursue a master’s in health equity.  Kirstin has been involved on the Student Athlete Advisory Executive Board and served as the director of storytelling. Her primary event is the 5000m in which she set a 30 second personal best this year.

Jewel Ofotan is a sprinter, majoring in Government and Politics. She is hoping to pursue a graduate degree in economics, international relations, or public policy after her undergrad studies. Jewel will then have her eyes set on law school.  She is a transfer student who has helped in the short sprint areas over the past two seasons.

Skylar Payne is a hurdler, majoring in the Marketing Analytics master’s program. Skylar will finish her graduate degree next semester.  She will also complete an internship this summer with Oasis Marinas working with their digital marketing team. Skylar is a transfer student who has competed in the hurdle events, with the 400m hurdles as her primary focus.

Jessica Sutter is a javelin thrower obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science and Technology. Upon graduation, she will be working at Longwood Gardens in Southeast PA.  Jess has received the Big Ten Distinguished scholar every year as a student-athlete at Maryland and sits at 4th All-Time on the women’s javelin list.

Kayla Thorpe finishes her Maryland career as the School Record holder in the javelin. She will be gaining her bachelor’s degree in Sociology this May.  In her two years as a Terp, Kayla has rewritten the All-Time lists, also throwing the 9th best mark in the shot put indoors. Kayla placed 6th in the javelin at Big Ten Championships in 2023 and will look to compete for a Big Ten title next weekend.  Upon graduation, Kayla will continue to train in the javelin with the goal of competing for Barbados professionally.

Sophia Zell is a distance runner, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She has accepted a job next year working at John’s Hopkins Applied Physics lab as an advanced kinetic weapons engineer. Sophie was an integral part of the cross-country team’s success this past fall where the team tied the best Big Ten finish in program history.  On the track she has focused on the 1500m and mile.

Mekhi Abbott has taken advantage of his one year as a Terp, leaving as the School Record holder in the javelin. Mekhi will complete his master’s degree in journalism this coming fall. Mekhi transferred in from Howard this year as a 3x MEAC Champion in the javelin and will look to now compete for a Big Ten title next weekend. This summer, Mekhi will be interning with the Afro-American newspaper as a sports intern.

Peter Capozzoli is a sprinter, majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He will be working at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, VA as an aerospace engineer. Peter is the recipient of the Alfred Gessow Academic Achievement Award for the graduating aerospace senior with the highest GPA. He is also an AEROS John D. Anderson scholar for his research presentation on flow measurement using event-based vision. Peter has competed in every event for the Terps from the 100m dash to the 800m.

Justin DePinto is a distance runner, majoring in finance. He will return next fall to pursue a master’s in business Analytics. Throughout his time at Maryland, Justin has primarily focused on the middle-distance events in the 800m and 1500m races. He joined with his teammates to earn the 4th fastest time in school history in the 4x800m relay at Penn Relays.

Matt Dehaas is a middle-distance runner, pursuing additional studies in Kinesiology during his year as a transfer student with our program. He will start a master’s in human Movement Science back home in Amsterdam next fall. While the season is not over yet, Matt has already set two big personal best performances in the span of two days at the Virginia Challenge in the 1500m and 800m. He also anchored the DMR at the Penn Relays that earned the #2 spot in Maryland History.

Brandon James is a sprinter, majoring in Sociology. He is a transfer student who has competed for the Terps in events ranging from the 4x100m relay to the 400m dash. Brandon is ranked #7 all time in the 200m.  He prides himself on being an entrepreneur who has started several businesses during his undergraduate career.

Jeff Kline has made his mark on Maryland and the NCAA during his time in College Park. The indoor school record holder in the shot put, Jeff has cemented himself as one of the best in the nation for the last two years.  Jeff sits Number 2 All Time outdoors and will look to take down the outdoor school record in the coming weeks and months as he pursues Big Ten and NCAA titles in the shot put.  Upon graduation, he plans to continue to train with his hometown club, Garage Strength, with the goal of competing professionally.

Bryce Middleton is a high jumper, majoring in Information Science. He is pursuing a career in cybersecurity after graduation.  Bryce received semester academic honors 5x throughout his collegiate career.  A fun fact is that Bryce skipped a grade in elementary school and used to play the piano. Bryce’s top mark in the high jump came from the 2023 Big Ten Championships.

Justin Ofotan is a sprinter, majoring in Information Science. Justin transferred to the Terps squad and has made an immediate impact in all the short sprint events and relays. Most recently he competed on the 4x200m relay at Penn Relays that ranks #7 all time.  Justin also earned his way into the record books for the #9 spot in the 60m dash.

Mojuba Shonekan is a middle-distance runner, completing his master’s degree in business Analytics. He will look to use these skills as a data analyst. Mo also plans to travel across the country to visit family and friends continuously over the next year.  As a transfer student, he set a new personal best in the 800m this year and is looking to finish out even stronger.

Kamari Trotz is a sprinter, graduating with a degree in Information Science. He accepted a job working as a data engineer at Accenture Federal Services. Kamari is a multi-year recipient of the Big Ten Scholar athlete award for his dedication to academics. On the track he ranks #4 All-Time in the 60m dash and #6 All-Time in the 100m dash.

Brandon Turpin is a hurdler, majoring in Studio Art. His future include pursuing a career as a creative and designer. He started his own graphic design business at the age of 16 in his early entrepreneurial stage. On the track, Turpin has emerged as both a strong short and long hurdler and contributes on the 4x400m relay.


Peter Capozzoli


Justin DePinto


Madison Depry


Amanda Eliker


Katie Ericson


Kami Joi Hickson

Middle Distance/Junior

Jeff Kline


Bryce Middleton


Kirstin Nichols


Jessica Sutter


The original article was written by UM Terps Staff and published by UM Terps Track & Field on May 4, 2024.