The No. 15 University of Miami women’s team successfully defended its ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships title, winning its fourth in program history. The Hurricanes, led by senior sprinter Shakima Wimbley, put on a show at Loftus Sports Center at the University of Notre Dame in a repeat-championship performance.
The Canes, earning 113 points for the team, finished well ahead of the rest of the field to get the win. The Clemson Tigers were 15 points behind, taking second place.
“We came here to beat everybody to win the conference,” sophomore Michelle Athlerley said before the meet.
The pentathlete won the first individual ACC Indoor title of the meet for Miami. With a personal-best 800m time and the fourth-best high jump in school history, Athlerley earned 4,281 points to set a new school record and ACC Championship record in the women’s pentathlon.
“We put so much effort into our fall training to make sure that we come to this competition and we win,” she said.
Coach Amy Deem now has the most ACC Indoor titles by an active coach. She led the Hurricanes to all four championships in program history.
“I’m just excited for the team,” Deem told HurricaneSports.com. “I don’t really think about stuff like that, but it’s awesome. I hope it’s an inspiration for the young females out there. It’s tough to be a coach, whether you’re a man or a woman, but hopefully it gives inspiration to women that want to be head coaches.”
Wimbley, who is a seven-time ACC Performer of the Week, defended her title as Women’s MVP for the event.
With a record-setting win in the women’s 200m, she is the first woman in ACC history to win four consecutive titles in one event. After breaking her own championship record from 2015 in the semifinals, she would top it again in the finals. Not only was the time of 22.83 seconds a personal best for Wimbley, but it is also the third-best time in school history.
Success continued for the decorated senior in the women’s 400m. Wimbley’s time of 51.20 seconds is a conference record, conference-championship record, school record and the best time in the NCAA this year.
Brittny Ellis won second place in the women’s 400m with a time of 52.19 seconds. Syracuse sprinter Kadejhia Sellers upset Miami’s clean sweep by edging Aiyanna Stiverne for third place. Stiverne and Wimbley would join sophomores Anna Runia and Erin Ford to win the women’s 4x400m relay with a time of 3:34.77.
“I am so proud of my teammates, but I am not surprised to see them do that because they train like beasts with me,” Wimbley told HurricaneSports.com. “They’re always alongside me in practice, and I was just waiting for that moment where they would have that breakthrough.”
Senior Ebony Morrison tied her personal best to win the women’s 60m hurdles in 8.12 seconds. Morrison told HurricaneSports.com that she’s never been on such a stellar team and, in spite of struggling with the loss of her mother, she focused on what’s important to win an individual title and help win the team title.
“Ebony and Shakima have done so much,” Deem told HurricaneSports.com. “They set the bar high for our underclassmen as two of our seniors. For the young kids to see our seniors continue to work hard and have great things come to them sets a great example for the next group.”
Hurricane athletes finishing in the top 16 in respective events will advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships at Texas A&M. The competition begins on March 10.