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Four Canes Punch Tickets to NCAA Championships

Four Canes Punch Tickets to NCAA Championships

TAMPA, Fla. – Stormy weather in the Gulf of Mexicomay have delayed Friday’s competition,but wind and rain could not prevent several members of the Hurricanes track and field program from excelling at the NCAA East Preliminary.
 
For the second consecutive day at the USF Track & Field Stadium, a Miami thrower kicked off the competition with a qualifying mark for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Like Kevin Arreaga on Thursday, Gian Piero Ragonesi punched his ticket to nationals with a top-12 finish in the men’s discus. The senior, who began his day with a foul, posted a mark of 53.24m on his second attempt that left him just outside the top-12. 
 
Ragonesi stepped up on his final throw, tossing the discus 54.56m to move into seventh place with 10 throwers remaining. At the end of competition, Ragonesi was eighth and officially on his way to Eugene Ore., for the 2018 NCAA Championships.
 
The Canes had a pair of student-athletes earn a trip to the NCAA Championships in the women’s 400m hurdles. Anna Runia was third in quarterfinal 1 with a season-best time of 57.04 seconds, while Samantha Gonzalez finished second in quarterfinal 3 with a time of 57.18 seconds. Runia heads to Oregon with the sixth-fastest qualifying time out of the East, while Gonzalez’s time ranks eighth among the 12 qualifiers. 
 
Inclement weather delayed the start of the third flight in the women’s discus, but that would not stop Debbie Ajagbe from securing her spot in the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday. 
 
The freshman finished ninth in the women’s discus with a throw of 52.82m, picking up one of the coveted 12 qualifying spots out of the NCAA East Preliminary. Zakiya Rashid finished 22nd overall in the women’s discus with a throw of 50.01m and did not advance to nationals.
 
In addition to the four Miami student-athletes who clinched trips to nationals, two Hurricanes moved one step closer to earning a place at the NCAA Championships on Friday.
 
Tiara McMinn won Heat 6 of the women’s 100m hurdles with a personal-best time of 13.09 seconds (w). The freshman advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals with the 6th-fastest qualifying time.
 
In Heat 5 of the women’s 200m first round, Kristina Knott was fifth with a personal-best time of 23.11 seconds (w). The senior earned one of the 24 spots in Saturday’s quarterfinals, advancing with the 23rd-fastest first round time.
 
Four Canes saw their seasons end as individuals on Friday, but the two women can still earn a trip to Oregon as members of Miami’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
 
Myles Valentine finished seventh in quarterfinal 3 and 18th overall in the men’s 100m with a time of 10.27 seconds that ranks second in UM history. Despite posting a personal-best in the 100m, the junior did not move on to the NCAA Championships.
 
Alfreda Steele was sixth in quarterfinal 3 and 20th overall in the women’s 100m with a time of 11.35 seconds. The freshman posted a personal-best time of 11.29 seconds in the first round, but did not advance to the NCAA Championships.
 
Symone Mason was seventh in Quarterfinal 2 of the women’s 400m with a time of 52.49 seconds. The freshman finished 15th overall, but did not advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
 
McKinly Brown was fifth in quarterfinal 1 of the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 51.43 seconds. The sophomore finished 17th overall, but did not move on to the NCAA Championships.
 
The preliminary competitions are scheduled for May 24-26. The University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., will host the East Preliminary and California State University, Sacramento in Sacramento, Calif., will host 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.
 
NCAA track and field fans can watch a live stream of the NCAA Division I East and/or West Preliminary Championships as FloTrack Pro subscribers. The subscription will include access to all FloTrack live broadcasts, video on-demand from all events, documentaries, technique videos and more. Coverage of the preliminary competitions will be available May 24-26 at www.FloTrack.com.  
 
Fans can also follow all the action at the NCAA East Preliminary via live results by clicking HERE.
 
For all the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow the official Twitter feed, @MiamiHurricanes, or “Like Us” on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes. Follow @CanesTrack on Twitter for specific news on UM track and field and cross countryThe program is also on Instagram.