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Two Engineering Canes Named USTFCCCA All-Academic

Two engineering students were among the eight members of the University of Miami track and field program who received All-Academic honors for the 2017-2018 NCAA Division I Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field seasons, as announced Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Debbie AjagbeSamantha GonzalezSean GrossmanKristina KnottGian Piero RagonesiAnna RuniaPeyton Russell and Amy Taintor were among 1,495 student-athletes who earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors following the 2017-2018 track & field seasons.

Ajagbe closed out her freshman season at the NCAA Championships with a sixth-place finish in Flight 1 and a 16th overall finish in the women’s discus, while also reaching the NCAA East Preliminary in the shot put, discus and hammer. Ajagbe was named First Team All-ACC team in the shot put at the ACC Championships, where she earned a bronze medal in the event. Ajagbe added a Second Team All-ACC honor in the women’s hammer. A mechanical engineering major, Ajagbe made the Dean’s List, named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll twice and was named a Book Buster in both semesters in her first her year at Miami. She is a two-time All-ACC Academic selection.

Gonzalez finished sixth in Heat 1 of the women’s 400m hurdles semifinals at the NCAA Championships and finished 17th overall, earning All-America honorable mention in the hurdle. She also was a member of Miami’s 4x400m relay that was 15th overall and received Second Team All-America recognition. The junior’s remarkable season also saw Gonzalez become the ACC 400m hurdles champion and anchor the Hurricanes’ 4x400m relay team to an ACC title, earning First Team All-ACC distinction in both events. While majoring in sports administration, Gonzalez has been named a Book Buster four times, named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List three times, the Provost’s Honor Roll twice and the President’s Honor Roll once. Gonzalez adds the USTFCCCA All-Academic award to an All-ACC Academic selection following the outdoor season.

Grossman closed out his Hurricane career with a 31st-place finish in the men’s 10,000m at the NCAA East Preliminary, posting a time of 30:45.96. The senior is the first Hurricane distance runner to qualify for a NCAA East Preliminary and was the first Cane to score in a distance event at the ACC Championships. Grossman holds the UM record in the indoor 3,000m and the 5,000m and the outdoor 3,000m, 5,000 and 10,000m. This is the first academic honor for Grossman, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering.

A senior majoring in advertising, Knott capped off her season reaching the NCAA East Preliminary in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay and helped the Canes win gold in the 4x100m relay at the ACC Outdoor Championships, earning First Team All-ACC in the relay. Knott is a four-time Book Buster while also being named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll three times, Dean’s List twice and a one-time Provost Honor Roll recipient.

Ragonesi wrapped up his collegiate career with the Canes finishing 20th in the men’s discus at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, receiving All-America honorable mention in the event. The senior earned First Team All-ACC in both shot put and discus after winning bronze medals in both events at the 2018 ACC Outdoor Championships. Ragonesi qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in both the shot put and discus and ended his career in the school’s all-time top five in the outdoor shot put, discus and hammer throw. Ragonesi, a graduate student majoring in international business studies, is now a four-time All-ACC Academic recipient.

Runia finished 15th overall at the NCAA Championships in the 400m hurdles to garner Second Team All-America honors. A native of the Netherlands, she was also a member of Miami’s 4x400m relay that was 15th overall and received Second Team All-American recognition. The junior also earned Second Team All-ACC honors in the 400m hurdles and was a member of Miami’s ACC champion 4x400m relay. Runia is a six-time Book Buster, Athletic Director Honor Roll, Dean’s List, Provost Honor Roll recipient and was also named to the All-ACC Academic Indoor Team in April. She is a five-time All-ACC Academic honoree.

A sophomore majoring in psychology, Russell placed in the Top 40 in the women’s triple jump at the NCAA East Preliminary to close out her second year with the Canes. She was ninth in the triple jump at the ACC Championships, tying her personal-best mark of 12.56m that was set in a victory at the Hurricane Collegiate Invitational on April 14. The USTFCCCA Academic selection is the first academic honor for Russell.

Taintor closed out her Canes career with a bronze medal in the pentathlon at the 2018 ACC Indoor Championships. Taintor’s personal-best score in the event ranks third in UM history and was 29thin the NCAA this season. The senior earned First Team All-ACC in the pentathlon and finished ninth in the long jump at the ACC Indoor Championships. The senior majoring in public relation and minoring in marketing, Taintor is a two-time All-ACC Academic selection.

To qualify for USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have met at least one of the following athletic standards:

For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org.

For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).

Both the men’s and women’s track and field programs were also named to the 2018 USTFCCCA All-Academic teams. Miami was one of 361 teams honored for their academics by the USTFCCCA. Breaking it down further, 220 of those were women’s teams compared to 141 men’s programs.

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