McMinn, Women's 4x100 and 4x400 Earn Spots at Nationals

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Miami track and field punched three more tickets to the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships on the final day of the East Prelims at Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida. 
 
The Canes’ women’s 4×100 relay team was the first event of the day to advance to nationals as Miami finished third in Heat 1. The squad made up of Carolyn Brown, Tiara McMinn, Alfreda Steele and Amuru Patterson combined to run a time of 43.87, which ranked 11th overall. 
 
“I’m especially proud of the 4×100 because we had to switch some things around, but the kids competed hard and trusted us,” director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem said. “They trusted the order and it was nice to see that happen for them to get through.” 

McMinn carried momentum into the 100m hurdles quarterfinals as the sophomore ran a personal-best time of 12.88 seconds to win Heat 1 to return to nationals for the second-straight season. McMinn’s time ranked fourth overall and is the fourth-fastest time in program history. 

“I’m really excited and proud of Tiara,” Deem said. “That sub-12.90 has been there and for her to run such a complete race, the most-complete race she’s ran in her Miami career, I’m just very happy. There’s some improvement still to be done, but that was a big hurdle, literally, for her to get under 12.90.” 
 
The Canes added their final event to qualify for nationals as the women’s 4×400 relay finished second in Heat 3 and seventh overall with a time of 3:33.16. Miami’s team made up of Brittny Ellis, Samantha Gonzalez, Michelle Atherley and Kayla Johnson have each all qualified for their own individual events, including the 4×400. Ellis will compete in the 400m, Gonzalez in the 400 hurdles, Atherley in the heptathlon and Johnson in the 800m. 
 
“I was confident that group would get through, but we were just a little rusty,” Deem said. “It’ll be good to get back to normal practice and they’ll be ready to run when we get to Austin.” 

Debbie Ajagbe competed in her second individual event of the regionals and recorded a season-best mark in the shot put at 15.48m and finished 27th overall. Ajagbe qualified for nationals in the women’s discus yesterday for the second-straight season with her mark of 53.33m. 
 
Hasani Knight and Darlene Charles also closed out their triple jump seasons on Saturday. Charles began the day for the Canes with a 19th-place finish after her best jump of 12.66m. Knight finished 34th overall with his jump of 14.89m. 
 
The Canes will now travel to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA Outdoor Championships June 5-8 hosted by the University of Texas. 

“I’m excited for our women because we pretty much advanced everybody,” Deem said. “We ran with a lot of confidence and it will carry over to Austin. With the men’s team, I’m happy for Raheem Chamber and Kevin Arreaga and I’m looking for great things from them next week. It was tough for McKinly Brown not to go through, but we’ll get it done with the other two.” 

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