TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Miami track and field program wrapped up a stormy weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary with its final two qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Canes, who had 22 entries in the NCAA East Preliminary, earned two more spots in the NCAA Championships thanks to their performances on Saturday at USF Track & Field Stadium.
Tiara McMinn was fourth in Quarterfinal 2 of the women’s 100m hurdles with a personal-best time of 13.24 seconds. The freshman finished seventh overall, posting the fastest non-automatic qualifying time, and advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Miami’s women’s 4x400m relay team of Symone Mason, Anna Runia, Michelle Atherley and Samantha Gonzalez combined to finish third in Heat 2 with a time of 3:34.67. The Hurricanes earned an automatic qualifying spot to the NCAA Championships, running the 10th-fastest time at the NCAA East Preliminary.
McMinn and the women’s 4x400m relay round out Miami’s seven qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Kevin Arreaga was the first Cane to earn a spot at the NCAA meet, punching his ticket on Thursday in the men’s hammer throw. On Friday, the Hurricanes had four qualifiers: Gian Piero Ragonesi in the men’s discus, Samantha Gonzalez and Anna Runia in the women’s 400m hurdles and Debbie Ajagbe in the women’s discus.
Miami’s ACC champion women’s 4x100m relay team saw its season come to an end sooner than anticipated, as the Hurricanes failed to get the baton around the track on Saturday afternoon. With rain falling, Kristina Knott and Alfreda Steele did not successfully complete the first exchange and the Canes’ relay that also features Symone Mason and McMinn, did not finish in Heat 3.
Debbie Ajagbe, who qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in three events, competed in the women’s hammer to open competition on Saturday. The freshman, who qualified for the NCAA Championships in the discus on Friday, failed to record a mark in Saturday’s hammer competition.
Like Ajagbe, Ragonesi entered Saturday’s action with a spot at the national meet after qualifying in the discus on Friday. The senior competed in the shot put for the final time, placing 29thwith a mark of 17.80m that left him outside the top 12 finishers that qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Niara Hill was the top Cane in the women’s triple jump, finishing 22ndoverall with a mark of 12.61m. The senior was in fourth place at the conclusion of the first two flights, but dropped 18 spots after the final 24 competitors in the third and fourth flights completed their three jumps.
Peyton Russell wrapped up her 2018 season on Saturday, as the sophomore finished 38th in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 12.14m.
Kristina Knott finished eighth in Quarterfinal 3 of the women’s 200m with a time of 23.75 seconds. The senior finished 22ndoverall and did not advance to the NCAA Championships.
The preliminary competitions were held May 24-26. The University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., hosted the East Preliminary and California State University, Sacramento in Sacramento, Calif., hosted the West Preliminary. The qualifiers out of these two regions will compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.
Complete meet results from the NCAA East Preliminary are available by clicking HERE.
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