Arreaga PRs on Final Day of Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Kevin Arreaga of the University of Miami track and field team won the men’s hammer throw on Saturday’s final day of competition at the Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge.
The standout sophomore set a new personal-best mark of 71.07m in the hammer, outthrowing the second-place finisher by almost five meters. The Spaniard bettered his previous UM program record by .43 meters, which he set almost a year ago.
Throwers dazzled all day as senior Zakiya Rashid won the women’s discus throw with a mark of 55.13m, with sophomore Debbie Ajagbe recording a mark of 49.58m. Ajagbe showed out as well in the hammer throw, registering a mark of 54.86m.
The women’s field events were led by senior Michelle Atherley, as the North Port, Fla., native took home first place in the women’s high jump at 1.71m and second place in the long jump at 5.89m. Celine Thompson finished just behind Atherley in second place after the tiebreaker went to Atherley. The duo combined for 26 team points.
On the men’s side, Hasani Knight finished sixth with a mark of 6.60m in the men’s long jump and recorded a fourth-place finish in the triple jump at 13.93m.
Miami’s women kept the track hot as the Canes started the day winning the women’s 4x100m relay with a time of 44.08. The team was combined of Carolyn Brown, Alfreda Steele, Symone Mason and Tiara McMinn. McMinn went on to finish second in the women’s 100m hurdles with a time of 13.41 seconds, just behind Chanel Brissett of USC.
Senior Brittny Ellis also recorded a second-place finish in the women’s 400m dash, boasting a time of 52.96 seconds. Sophomore Kayla Johnson finished just behind her in fifth with a time of 53.22.
Seniors Samantha Gonzalez and Anna Runia cruised in the women’s 400m hurdles, finishing first and second, respectively. Gonzalez finished with a time of 57.33 and Runia just behind her at 57.60 in the duo’s first 400m hurdles event of the outdoor season.
“I’m happy with the way our hurdlers came out this weekend,” director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem said. “It’s one of their best openers in the event they’ve had, so I’m really happy with the way they came out and performed.”
The women concluded their day by winning the 4x400m relay, when Runia, Ellis, Atherley and Johnson combined to run a time of 3:32.88.
“I’m really happy with our relay teams this weekend,” Deem said. “They are continuing to improve and I think they’re going in the right direction.”
On the men’s side, Raheem Chambers continues to cruise on the track, boasting a time of 21.04 seconds in the 200m dash to finish second, just one one-hundredth of a second off from first place. Senior Isaiah Taylor ran an impressive time of 21.45 seconds to finish sixth as the Canes totaled nine points in the event.
Senior Andreas Christodoulou added four team points with his fourth-place finish in the men’s 110m hurdles with a time of 15.09 seconds. The men continued to shine in the hurdle events as freshman Thomas Burns and junior McKinly Brown added 14 points with their second and third place finishes, respectively, in the 400m hurdle.
“It was a good opener for Thomas, especially since he doesn’t run this event every week,” Deem said. “Thomas and McKinly are just going to keep getting better as the season keeps going.”
For the first time this outdoor season, the Miami men competed in the 4x100m relay and finished in a tight race against Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ time of 40.485 just beat the Canes who would finish second with a time of 40.486.
The Miami women finished second in the scored meet with 129 points, just one point behind Tennessee. Miami’s men finished with 60 in fifth-place.
The Canes return to action next week when they travel to Gainesville on March 28-30 for the Florida Relays.
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