The University of Miami track and field team competed in its final home meet of the season – the Hurricane Alumni Invitational.
Shakima Wimbley continued adding to her stellar career at Miami by winning the women’s 200m with a time of 22.67 seconds – ranking third in the world this season. She anchored the 4x100m relay and won the event with Aiyanna Stiverne, Kristina Knott and Anna Runia with a time of 44.17 seconds. Knott later won the women’s 100m with a time of 11.57 seconds.
Trishelle Leacock, Brittny Ellis, Samantha Gonzalez and Erin Ford ran a 3:38.31 to finish second in the women’s 4x400m relay. Gonzalez finished third in the women’s 400m hurdles with a season-best 59.87 seconds.
Anne Den Otter won the women’s 1500m run, setting a new personal-best of 4:31.74. Amy Taintor’s personal-best score of 5182 points earned her second in the women’s heptathlon. The point tally is the third best in school history.
The No. 16 women’s team had great success in field events. Emily Gale’s personal-best vault of 4.00m is the second best pole vault in school history, which earned her third place in the event. Zakiya Rashid finished second in women’s discus at 51.01m. Darlene Charles won the triple jump at 12.18m, and Sherry Lubin won the women’s shot-put at 13.60m. Stefani Kerrison finished third in the long jump at 5.75m. In the high jump, Kyra Maryland won with a season-best 1.65m, and Celine Thompson tied for third with a personal-best mark at the same height.
Senior Carlos Mangum led the way for the men in the hammer throw. Mangum’s personal-best throw of 66.87m broke his own school record. Continuing with field events, Daniel Polinski finished third in the men’s shot-put at 16.81m.
Andreas Christodoulou finished third in the men’s decathlon with 6936 points.
In sprint events, Breon Mullings joined the top-five times in school history in the men’s 400m dash. He ran a personal-best 47.75 seconds. Henri Delauze, McKinly Brown, Brandon Taylor and Ibrahim Dodo ran a time of 3:11.46 to finish third in the men’s 4x400m relay.
Many alumni, including former track-and-field and football standout Daryl Jones, watched the meet. Jones was one of the top wide receivers on the storied 2001 national champion football team and was a decorated Big East champion in indoor and outdoor sprint events. As a freshman on the track team, he was named Co-Newcomer of the Year with Santana Moss and Ed Reed. Until 2010, Jones, Moss, Robert Williams and Davian Clarke held the school record in the men’s 4x100m relay with a time of 39.99 seconds.
“It’s pretty cool, especially bringing my family out here,” he said talking about his wife and seven kids attending the meet with him. “It’s a little bit of nostalgia going on. I remember not just a lot of track meets out here, but practices.”
Jones, Moss and Reed were not the only football and track dual-athletes that competed for the Hurricanes in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At practices and meets, Jones noted that he competed heavily against Moss, Reggie Wayne, Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis, Phillip Buchanon, and Andre Johnson.
“Our practices were fun because, of course, we’re racing each other,” Jones said. “We used to challenge each other just as much on this track as we did on the football field.”
Some alumni even competed in the meet. Recent graduate Alysha Newman won the women’s pole vault and set a Canadian record at 4.71m. The vault ranks third in the world this season. Devon Hill, currently a volunteer assistant coach with the Hurricanes, ran a time of 13.66 seconds to finish second in the men’s 110m hurdles.
Fifteen Miami seniors and their families were on hand to celebrate four years of fierce competition. The Hurricanes honored were Karyna Armstrong, Megan Brown, Samantha Chenkin, Amanda Gale, Emily Gale, Gabrielle Hesslau, Nick Kaleel, Jonathan Keller, Meredith Louisville, Mangum, Ebony Morrison, Anthonia Moore, Polinski, Stiverne and Wimbley.
Morrison described her family’s attendance at the meet as overwhelming.
“To see them here for me and supporting me is really uplifting me,” Morrison said.
Wimbley’s family expressed similar sentiments. Her mother, Elizabeth, and siblings Joshua, Donna Jones and Jasmine, as well as cousin Dwayne, were there to showcase their pride and support her.
“As a mom, I’m very excited. I’m holding back the tears,” Wimbley’s mother said.
“As a big brother, it’s always wonderful to see your sister accomplish so much,” said Wimbley’s brother. “She has had an awesome career at UM, and I’m just very happy to be here.”
Wimbley’s cousin, a former basketball player for the Canes, was excited to see her come to Miami in the first place.
“I didn’t know she would come here and rewrite the record books,” he said. “It’s nice to see that – see her come down here and have success and leave on top.”
The Canes will not compete this weekend but will return to action April 22 at the Michael Johnson Invitational at Baylor University.