Cross Country/Track and Field, Sports

Shakima Wimbley shines in Pan American Games

Junior track star Shakima Wimbley races past the competition. Courtesy

Junior track star Shakima Wimbley races past the competition. Courtesy

Despite being named ACC Freshman of the Year for both indoor and outdoor track in 2014, Shakima Wimbley entered races last season with a puzzling lack of self-confidence.

Wimbley set Miami records in the indoor 200m and 400m races and was named a second team All American for indoor track last year, yet she still didn’t view herself as one of the best runners in the country.

That won’t be the case this year for the star junior runner thanks to her sensational performance in the 2015 Pan American Games held in Toronto last month.

“Sometimes I don’t go in with as much confidence as I should, and now that I ran on this level, it’s like there’s nothing left,” Wimbley said over the phone last Friday. “Just go after it. You’re just as good as everybody else.”

Wimbley came in second place in the 400m race with a time of 51.36 seconds, just getting edged out by fellow American runner Kendall Baisden, who clocked in at 51.27 seconds. Wimbley looked poised for a disappointing finish around fifth or sixth place with 80 meters to go, but thundered down the track the last leg of the race to earn herself a silver medal.

Two days after winning the silver, Wimbley ran the third leg of the 4×400 women’s relay for the American team and added another medal to her collection. This time, it was gold.

“Winning a gold medal is always something special,” Wimbley said during the phone call. “To know that I’m out there and the best athlete at the event, along with my teammates, it’s great.”

Wimbley keeps the medals in a display case inside her room. They serve as reminders that she is one of the elite runners in the country and motivate her to accomplish her ultimate goal.

“[The Pan American Games] showed me that I can be the best,” Wimbley said. “I just have to believe in myself, stay consistent and go after it. My ultimate goal of the year will be to make the Olympic team. That would be a dream come true.”

As long as Wimbley remains confident in herself, she has a real shot at making the 2016 Olympic squad. That should be easy, since Wimbley has two shining symbols of her ability sitting in a display case at all times.

August 26, 2015


Mark Singer

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.