ATLANTA – Shakima Wimbley made history on the final day of the 2017 ACC Outdoor Championships, becoming the first athlete in ACC history to win eight conference titles in the 200m.
Wimbley secured her fourth consecutive ACC outdoor title and eighth overall conference championship in the women's 200m final with a time of 22.54 seconds. The senior was one of two Hurricanes in the event, as Brittny Ellis finished fourth with a time of 23.40 seconds.
“It's an indescribable feeling,” Wimbley said. “When I came in as a freshman, I had now idea that my career would end like this. I just had a goal and that was no matter where I went or what opportunities Miami offered me, I was going to give 110 percent. I stayed dedicated I stayed focused. I had a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but I never gave up on myself. I know what I am capable of and I know if I keep my head on straight and keep a clear mind then I can accomplish a lot.”
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wimbley defended her 400m title with an NCAA-leading time of 50.40 seconds, setting ACC, ACC Championship & UM records. Ellis earned a silver medal with a time of 51.66 seconds that ranks third in UM history, while Aiyanna Stiverne's season-best time of 52.19 seconds earned her a bronze medal and completed the podium sweep in the event by the Hurricanes.
“That goes to show it doesn't matter where you start, it is how you finish,” Wimbley said. “Stay persistent and stay consistent and believe in yourself and go after your dreams. I never discredit anyone or think I have anything in the bag. I know there is always going to be competition so I just try to stay focused and execute each race. I didn't think about four races today, I just focused on one at a time and how to execute each one and it all worked out for me. I knew it would take a lot, but I was up for the challenge.”
The women's 4x100m relay team of Carolyn Brown, Wimbley, Stiverne and Kristina Knott defended Miami's title in the event, setting conference, ACC Championship and school records with a time of 43.36 seconds that ranks sixth in the NCAA this season.
Miami's 4x400m relay team capped the meet with an impressive showing in the final women's event, defending its 2016 conference title. The quartet of Anna Runia, Stiverne, Ellis and Wimbley posted a time of 3:29.99, breaking their own ACC and ACC Championship records while scoring Miami's final 10 points of the meet.
“I'm really excited about our relays,” Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem said. “The 4x4 was tired, but they have pride and wanted to win another medal and wanted to win the relay because they take pride in it. For them to come and run 3:29 this weekend is great. Both relays set themselves up for the NCAA meet in two weeks.”
Wimbley closed her ACC career with eight 200m titles, seven 400m titles, three 4x100m titles and five 4x400m titles.
“She has just been tremendous at the ACC level,” Deem said. “To come in here on her last championship and run a national-leading time and break her record and just be an important part of both our relays was great. Everything is always about the team for her when we are at this meet. She is a tough one to lose and she set a great example for the rest of the team. We still have a lot of track season left, but it's special to come in and win 15 of 16 individual championships and that is not counting the relays. That is a tough one to beat. She's been a tremendous person to coach and a tremendous person overall.”
Runia earned her own ACC title, winning the women's 400m hurdles with a time of 57.03 seconds. Knott also picked up four more points for the Hurricanes in the women's 100m final, finishing fifth with a time of 11.51 seconds.
The Hurricane women scored nine points in the women's 100m hurdles, as Ebony Morrison was fourth with a time of 13.66 seconds and Stefani Kerrison finished fifth with a time of 13.40 seconds.
Miami scored its first points of Championship Sunday in the field events, as Darlene Charles and Niara Hill combined for five points in the women's triple jump. Charles finished sixth, as the freshman posted a personal-best mark of 12.66m, while Hill placed seventh with a personal-best mark of 12.64m.
Zakiya Rashid scored six points for the women's team, earning a bronze medal in the women's discus with a throw of 53.15m.
“We came in today down a lot of points, so it was good to see them score and try to help us close that gap,” Deem said. “To see Niara score outdoors for the first time, especially getting her back off a protest and seeing her go out and jump a lifetime best and get seventh was great. Darlene, as a freshman, to have her put together this weekend was really nice. That was great for Z, too. Darlene and Z are part of our future in the field events, so for them to come in and score points for us is huge.”
The Hurricane women finished third with 108 points, giving Miami its fourth consecutive top three finish at the ACC Outdoor Championships. The Canes' 108 points is their most since scoring 127 in 2007.
“Clearly we are disappointed that we didn't win,” Deem said. “We missed on a few things, but it was just Virginia Tech's day today. The biggest thing that we are going to take on the women's side is that we really put ourselves in a great position heading into the NCAA meet. If you can't win it, then you at least want to be able to be in a great position for two weeks from now. I feel really confident with Brittny stepping up in the 400 and the relays stepping up really puts us in a great position for the upcoming NCAA meet in two weeks.”
On the men's side, Henri Delauze kicked off the scoring for the Hurricanes. The junior finished fifth in the men's 400m final with a season-best time of 46.75 seconds.
Isaiah Taylor followed Delauze's strong performance with a personal-best time in the men's 100m final, finishing fourth with a time of 10.40 seconds.
As a team, Miami's men finished 14th with nine points at the 2017 ACC Outdoor Championships.
“I was really proud of Isaiah,” Deem said. “That was a big run for him and I think that will go a long way with his confidence. This year with the men, it's just kind of been anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. But I look at it like the women in 2013, who finished 11th at the ACC Championship, but we came back and we've been on a pretty good run ever since. I think the future is bright for our men, but this year has definitely been challenging with the injuries and anything that could go wrong has, but I am excited for our future.”
Following the ACC Outdoor Championships, qualifying Hurricanes will travel to compete at the NCAA East Preliminary in Lexington, Ky., on May 25-27. To view the complete Miami track and field schedule for the 2017 season, click here.
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