SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Debbie Ajagbe claimed her first ACC title on Thursday at the Loftus Sports Center with a personal best and ACC Indoor Championship record mark in the women’s weight throw.
Ajagbe’s mark of 22.55m on her final throw of the competition gave the Miami native her fourth conference medal and her first gold medal of her touted career. Ajagbe began the day with a then-personal best mark of 22.05m to take the early lead.
“Debbie had an awesome day and really set the tone for the weekend,” director of Track and Field/Cross Country Amy Deem said. “That’s what it’s all about, coming out during the championships and competing with a lifetime best. She works every day toward this and I’m so happy for her.”
The junior battled back-and-forth with junior Rachel Tanczos of host school Notre Dame, which took back the lead with her third throw of the day at 22.39m. Ajagbe quickly regained first place with her fourth toss at 22.52m and improved her mark on the final attempt.
The winning throw ranks fifth in the NCAA and takes over a 15-year Miami record set by Kimberli Barrett by over one meter.
Kevin Arreaga earned his fourth ACC medal with his third-place finish in the men’s weight throw. The redshirt junior led the competition after the first four rounds of throws with his mark of 20.16m. Noah Walker of Pitt took the lead on the fifth throw, but Notre Dame’s Logan Kusky’s final toss of 20.75m took home the gold medal.
“I’m proud of the way Kevin competed even though he had some unfortunate luck in his premeet,” Deem said. “He competed and really gave us his all today.”
Arreaga’s podium performance earned the Miami men six points, while Ajagbe gave the women 10.
Action will continue tomorrow with women’s high jump and men’s 5000m run scheduled for a noon start time.
“Debbie and Kevin really set the tone for this meet and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of us compete,” Deem said.
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