On Friday, the University of Miami men’s and women’s cross country teams will prepare to face off against a myriad of talented Atlantic Coast Conference schools in the ACC Championships. This year, the teams have a newfound confidence heading in to the championships.
In her debut, freshman Daphnee Lavassas crossed the finish line with the seventh fastest time in program history in the 6K.
But relief came for these student-athletes, and not just those who were facing an early exit from athletics, as the council voted to extend eligibility to all spring sport athletes, regardless of year in the program. This decision effectively grants all spring student-athletes a redshirt for the suspended 2020 season.
The highlight of the tournament for Miami was Debbie Ajagbe. The junior placed first in the women’s throw and the shot put. With a distance of 22.55m in the women’s throw, Ajagbe set a meet record, personal best and ranks fifth nationally. In addition to the two gold medals, Ajagbe was named ACC Field MVP.
Now that Atherley has competed on an international stage, she said she is ready to take her talents to the next level at the 2020 Olympics.
“We fight,” sophomore guard Mykea Gray said, who led UM with 19 points. “That’s one thing I can say about our team. No matter how down we are at the moment, we always find a way to bounce back.”
“It’s awesome to get this win because you can’t downplay the rivalry Miami and Florida State have,” coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said.
“This a really good step in the right direction in terms of realizing our potential,” coach Sarah Barnes said. “Although they had good chances, I think we created really clear chances right in front of the goal.”