Canes find success in Gainesville despite deep competition

The Miami Hurricanes participate in the Hurricane Collegiate Invitational at Cobb Stadium on March 27.
The Miami Hurricanes participate in the Hurricane Collegiate Invitational at Cobb Stadium on March 27. Photo credit: Michael Mok

For the second time this season, the Canes headed north to compete in Gainesville, Fla. at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational.

After a lightning delay on the first day, the No. 13 Canes made their mark in a stacked field that included the 2018 men’s outdoor track and field champions Georgia and the 2019 women’s outdoor champions Arkansas. Despite the deep competition Miami still came home with a series of top-10 finishes.

Out on the field, the Canes came out strong. Sophomore duo Kevin Snyder and Russell Robinson finished third and fourth in the triple jump. Snyder jumped a mark of 15.44m, which ranks No. 5 on Miami’s all-time program list and Robinson wasn’t far behind with a mark of 15.42m.

Junior Jeffrey Williams finished fourth in the discus throw with a mark of 55.66m and veteran thrower Kevin Arrreaga also made a top-five appearance, finishing fourth in the hammer throw with a mark of 65.78m.

On the women’s side, freshman Ashley Moore set a personal best mark in the triple jump, finishing seventh and jumping 12.99m. Sophomore Kristina Rakocevic took second in the discus throw with a mark of 51.80 and senior Debbie Ajagbe finished seventh in the hammer throw with a mark of 60.43m. Ajagbe also finished 10th (15.17m) in the shot put behind teammate Selina Dantzler for eighth (15.72m).

Senior Tiara McMinn headed the sprints, taking first overall in the 100 meter hurdles, running a 12.94 and improving significantly from her qualifying time of 13.25m. Teammate Lauryn Harris also qualified for the finals, finishing ninth overall (13.54). Sophomore Jacious Sears finished ninth in the 100 meter dash (11.58) and freshmen Moriah Oliveira (54.23) and Blanca Hervas (54.47) finished seventh and eighth in the 400 meter dash.

Heading the distance side, graduate student Rosalba Cabrera finished third in the 10,000 meter run (37:17.53) and senior Emma Langlois took ninth in the 5000 meter run (17:23.21).

In the relays, Miami took second in the 4×100 meter relay (44.06) led by Harris, graduate student Alfreda Steele, Sears and McMinn. The Canes took fifth in the 4×400 meter relay (3:36.01) led by freshmen M. Oliveira, S. Oliveira and Hervas as well as senior Kayla Johnson. Johnson also placed 10th in the 800 meter run (2:06.93).

Oskar Bambals headed the men’s side. The freshman finished third in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:48.92. Bambals now holds the third fastest time in Miami program history. Also finding success in the sprints, veterans Xavier Coakley and McKinly Brown took home two top-10 finishes. Coakley finished eighth in the 110 meter hurdles (14.02) and Brown finished fifth in the 400 meter hurdles (51.81).

The men’s 4×400 meter relay also made program history, running the second fastest time in Miami history (3:07.04). The relay finished sixth overall and was led by Brown, graduate student Asa Burke, senior Khamal Stewart-Baynes and freshman Solomon Strader.

Up next, the Canes head to Jacksonville, Fla to compete in the UNF Invitational April 29-30 before heading to Raleigh, N.C. on May 13-16 for the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.