Alysha Newman and Shakima Wimbley were individual stars on Thursday, while Miami’s 1,600-meter relay team provided the best punctuation on a strong day at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
The Hurricanes had a busy day at Hayward Field, competing in six events on the first of two days of women’s track and field action.
“We started out a little shaky,” Miami director of track and field/cross-country Amy Deem said. ”But we came back strong in the 400 meters, the pole vault and the 4x400. It finished well, but we were hoping to have a little bit more go through to Saturday.”
Newman finished tied for second in the women’s pole vault, clearing 4.30m while vaulting on a chilly and rainy nigh. The senior passed on the opening two heights, 4.05m and 4.20m, before entering the competition at 4.30m. Newman cleared her opening bar on her first attempt and passed at 4.35m, choosing to make her next attempt at 4.40m.
Four competitors remained when Newman made her next attempt, a miss at 4.40m that was her first miss of the competition. The senior failed to clear the bar at 4.40m on her next two attempts, tying with Louisiana-Lafayette’s Morgann Leleux.
Wimbley was Miami’s star on the track. The junior won Heat 1 of the women’s 400-meter semifinals with a time of 51.78 seconds, earning an automatic bid to Saturday’s final. Wimbley will be the fourth seed in the final Saturday afternoon, scheduled for 7:32 p.m..
“It’s a great feeling to make it to the final,” Wimbley said. “I didn’t do as well as I wanted at the beginning of the season, but now it’s all coming together and I’m pumped and ready to go.”
The quartet of Destiny Washington, Aiyanna Stiverne, Brittny Ellis & Wimbley combined to finish third in Heat 1 of the women’s 1,600 relay semifinals with a season-best time of 3:29.68 that ranks fifth in UM history. Miami’s relay earned spot in Saturday’s final, running the third-fastest semifinal time of the 24 teams in the field.
Stiverne also competed in the women’s 400 meters, running a time of 53.05 seconds. The junior finished seventh in Heat 3 and 15th overall in the event, but did not advance to the final.
Ebony Morrison finished 15th in the women’s 100-meter hurdles semifinals. The junior placed fifth in Heat 2 of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.14 seconds but did not advance to the final.
UM’s first football road game Sept. 17 at Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina, will kick off at noon, the school announced Friday. The game will air on ESPN or ESPN2. The Canes open their season with two home games — against FAMU at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 (ESPN3) and against FAU at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 (ESPN3).