EUGENE, Ore. – One of the greatest sprinters in University of Miami history, Shakima Wimbley wrapped up her collegiate career with an outstanding performance at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In a race that came down to the final lean, Wimbley finished second in the women's 400m final with a time of 50.68 seconds. The Hurricanes' superstar just missed edging out Texas' Chrisann Gordon (50.51) at the finish line, closing out her NCAA career at the national runner-up in the women's 400m.
Wimbley and Gordon are familiar with each other, having raced in the 400m final at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships in March. On that day it was Wimbley who was victorious, running a world-leading time of 51.07 seconds while Gordon took third.
The two seemed destined to meet again at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after both put together outstanding outdoor seasons. Wimbley entered the meet with an NCAA-leading time of 50.40 seconds, while Gordon was third in the NCAA this season at 50.64 seconds.
Wimbley, who is on the Bowerman Award Watch List and was named the USTFCCCA South Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year, advanced to the finals in the women's 400m after winning Heat 2 of the women's 400m semifinals with a time of 51.17 seconds on Thursday. The Fort-Lauderdale, Fla., native ran the second-fastest semifinal time behind Gordon's 50.39 seconds, setting the stage for Saturday's showdown.
With Wimbley running out of Lane 5 and Gordon next to her in Lane 4, the two seniors burst out of the blocks at the sound of the starter's pistol. Gordon made up some of the stagger to take an early lead, but Wimbley battled back to run neck and neck with the Jamaica native over the final 200 meters.
The crowd at Historic Hayward Field was on its feet as the two standouts approached the finish line. Both Wimbley and Gordon made their final push and leaned at the line, with Gordon just beating Wimbley to win the national title.
Less than two hours after the women's 400m final, Wimbley was back on the track anchoring Miami's 4x400m relay with a 50.55-second split in the final race of the 2017 national championship meet. Anna Runia, Aiyanna Stiverne, Brittny Ellis and Wimbley combined to finish seventh in the 4x400m relay final with a time of 3:28.90.
With Wimbley finishing second and the 4x400m relay placing seventh, the Hurricane women closed out the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships tied for 21st with 10 team points.
In addition to those competing Saturday, the Hurricanes had Stiverne compete in the women's 400m semifinals, Ebony Morrison in the women's 100m hurdles semifinals and had an entry in the women's 4x100m relay semifinals.
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