Johnson Takes 800m at Tiger Paw Invite


CLEMSON, S.C. – Kayla Johnson of the University of Miami track and field team won Saturday’s women’s 800m run after an outstanding finish at the Tiger Paw Invite. 

Johnson’s finish out of the last turn gave the sophomore a first place finish with her fastest time of the season at 2:08.40. Saturday’s win is Johnson’s second of the season, having also won the women’s 400m at the Doc Hale Elite Meet. 

“Kayla has been competing well this season and had a really strong performance today,” head coach Amy Deem said. “I would have liked to seen her run a little better from the 4-6, but she really had a strong finish and she’s in the right place heading into ACC’s.”

The women’s 4x400m relay team boasted a nation’s top-10 time and finished fourth with a time of 3:33.99. Sophomore Symone Mason, junior Brittny Ellis, Johnson and senior Michelle Atherley combined to run the fastest relay time of the indoor season, which currently ranks as the ninth fastest time in the NCAA.  

“I thought they ran hard and really competed well, but I thought we could’ve ran faster,” Deem said. 

Miami’s second group of Anna Runia, Carolyn Brown, Amuru Patterson and Samantha Gonzalez also produced a quality finish with a time of 3:42.64. 

Senior distance runner Anne den Otter ran a phenomenal women’s 3000m, recording a personal-best time of 9:51.84. den Otter bested her former best time by nearly 19 seconds and finished sixth out of 22 competitors. 

Mason began her day in the women’s 200m Invitational and ran a 24.04, while sophomore Tiara McMinn continued her stellar indoor season, registering a new personal best time of 23.92 and finished fourth in the 200m. Junior McKinly Brown and freshman Davonte Fuller ran in the men’s 200m, finishing with times of 1:56.27 and 1:56.53, respectively. 

In the field events, sophomore Kevin Arreaga returned to the men’s weight throw after two weeks without competition and recorded a season best mark of 20.67m. Arreaga boasted a top-five finish, finishing fourth in a stacked field of 23. Fellow sophomore Debbie Ajagbe registered yet another top-five finish in her already accomplished career, recording a personal best mark in the weight throw with a mark of 20.49m to finish third overall. 

The 2018 ACC Outdoor Field MVP Michelle Atherley has stayed consistent all season after registering a mark of 1.74m in the high jump. Atherley finished seventh in the event in a field of 29. Last weekend’s high jump winner at the Doc Hale Elite Meet, Celine Thompson recorded a mark of 1.64m. 

Hasani Knight made his way on to the program’s top-five marks in the men’s triple jump, recording a new personal best mark of 15.38m, which ranks third in UM history. Tristan Schultheis made his indoor debut this season, recording a mark of 2.00m in the high jump. 

The Canes have a week off for the first time in three weeks before traveling back to Blacksburg, Va., for the ACC Indoor Championships on Feb. 21 – 23. 

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