CORAL GABLES, Fla. – NCAA women's 400m leader Shakima Wimbley headlines a talented group from the University of Miami track and field program accepted to compete at the 2017 NCAA East Preliminary, the NCAA announced Thursday.
Miami earned 22 entries in the 2017 NCAA East Preliminary, with 22 different student-athletes set to travel to Lexington, Ky., to represent the Hurricanes.
Wimbley heads to the NCAA East Preliminary fresh off winning her third consecutive ACC Women's Outdoor Track MVP Award, thanks to earning four gold medals at the 2017 ACC Outdoor Championships. The senior qualified for the fourth straight year and her time of 50.40 seconds is the fastest 400m time in the country. She will also compete for Miami's 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
A Bowerman Award candidate, Wimbley will be joined in the 400m by sophomore Brittny Ellis and senior Aiyanna Stiverne, giving the Hurricanes the top three qualifying times in the East Preliminary. Ellis is second in the East and seventh overall with a time of 51.66 seconds, while Stiverne is third in the East and 12th overall with a time of 52.19 seconds.
In addition to the 400m, the Hurricanes earned three additional spots in the women's sprints. Kristina Knott qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in two individual events, advancing to Kentucky in the women' 100m and 200m. Knott will be joined in the 200m field by teammate Carolyn Brown.
Four Hurricanes qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in the hurdles, led by senior Ebony Morrison and sophomore Anna Runia. Morrison is one of two Canes in the women's 100m hurdles field, where she will be joined by Stefani Kerrison. Runia, who won the 2017 ACC women's 400m hurdles title, enters the NCAA East Preliminary with the ninth-fastest time in the region this year. Samantha Gonzalez will also compete for Miami in the 400m hurdles.
Miami's women earned a spot in both the 4x100m and 4x400m relay fields. The Hurricanes enter the NCAA East Preliminary fresh off gold medal-winning performances at the ACC Outdoor Championships.
The women's 4x100m relay team of Brown, Wimbley, Stiverne and 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. The Canes also have Runia and Erin Ford in the relay pool, giving Miami a deep group of talented sprinters to choose from.
Miami's 4x400m relay team defended its 2016 ACC outdoor title, as the quartet of Runia, Stiverne, Ellis and Wimbley posted a time of 3:29.99, breaking their own ACC and ACC Championship records. The Hurricanes enter the NCAA East Preliminary with the second-fastest time in the East region this season. Ford and Gonzalez round out the ACC champion Hurricanes' relay pool in the 4x400m.
The Hurricanes also had six qualifiers in the women's field events, led by ACC bronze medalist Erika Voyzey in the high jump. Kerrison and Amy Taintor will compete in the women's long jump, while Darlene Charles and Niara Hill will represent Miami in the women's triple jump. Zakiya Rashid, who is ranked 12th in the East region in the women's discus, will throw for Miami in Lexington.
Miami has four qualifiers on the men's side, with Isaiah Taylor set to represent Miami in the 100m, Henri Delauze in the 400m, Carlos Mangum in the hammer throw and the Hurricanes' 4x400m relay earning a place in Lexington.
Taylor enters the NCAA East Preliminary fresh off a personal-best time of 10.40 seconds in the men's 100m final at the ACC Outdoor Championships, while Delauze finished fifth in the 400m final at the conference championship with a time of 46.75 seconds.
Mangum is ranked 19th in the East region heading into the meet with a mark of 66.87m, while the Hurricanes' 4x100m team qualified after running 3:08.89 at the Florida Relays. Delauze, Breon Mullings, Ibrahim Dodo, Brandon Taylor and McKinly Brown make up a talented relay pool headed to Kentucky for the Canes.
The Preliminary championships competitions will be held May 25-27. The East region will be held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., and the West region at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. The qualifiers out of these regions will compete in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 7-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
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