No joy for Zim athletes in USA After having qualified for Saturday’s women’s 400m dash final by breaking the school’s long-standing record, Maisvorewa failed to get a top-three finish in the final.

Collin Matiza-Sports Editor

THERE was no joy for Zimbabwean athletes Vimbayi Maisvorewa and Makanakaishe Charamba as they walked away empty-handed during the final day of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Fayetteville in Arkansas, United States, on Saturday. 

After having qualified for Saturday’s women’s 400m dash final by breaking the school’s long-standing record, Maisvorewa failed to get a top-three finish in the final.

According to reports from Fayetteville, less than 24 hours after breaking the school record in the 400m, junior Maisvorewa finished sixth in 52.72 seconds. 

The Zimbabwean sprinter established a new school best on Friday night clocking a time of 52.16. 

After racing in the 400m dash, Maisvorewa shifted her attention to the women’s 4x400m relay on Saturday. 

Auburn’s relay team of Abasiono Akpan, Ashantae Harvey, Zuriel Reed, and Maisvorewa ran the third-fastest 4x400m relay in school history in 3:32.75 en route to a seventh-place showing. Maisvorewa’s fellow Zimbabwean, Charamba, who is also on an athletics scholarship at Auburn University, racing in his first SEC indoor meet, scored for the Tigers taking eighth place in the men’s 200m in 21.37 seconds. Auburn freshman Kanyinsola Ajayi became the third Tiger SEC Champion in the last four years in the men’s 60m dash, claiming gold on Saturday winning in a time of 6.60 during the final day of competition at the Randal Tyson Track Centre. 

Ajayi’s win was the first by an Auburn male freshman at SEC indoors since Sajay Ayre won in the 400m dash 24 years ago. He joined Favour Ashe (2023) and Dante Brown (2021) to win the event for Auburn in the last four years. Auburn has Junior transfer Simone Jonhson bronze in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 13.06m/42-10.25 on her second jump, missing second place by less than an inch. Senior Amy Warren, seventh in the event last year, established her best finish at SECs, closing with a fourth place after a mark of 12.79m/41-11.5 on her fifth attempt. 

Senior Sanaa Barnes equalled her personal best in the high jump, clearing 1.85m/6-0.75 to grab fourth place in the women’s high jump. Barnes’ fourth-place finish was the Tigers’ best in the event since Monica Carney was fourth in 2012. 

In the women’s mile, freshman Camila Gomes was fifth in 4:40.27, marking the school’s fourth-fastest time indoor time in AU history and the best finish by a Tiger freshman in the event since 2002. 

Sophomore Michael May finished the final day of the men’s heptathlon with a personal best in the 1000m, crossing in 2:36.14 to finish with 5,559 points, good for sixth place overall. May, who finished fifth as a freshman gave Auburn its eighth consecutive year to have at least one scorer in the event. In the men’s shot put, sophomore Matthew Rueff improved from 16th place as a freshman to eighth as a sophomore. On his sixth and final toss, Rueff posted an 18.17m/59-7.5 for a new lifetime best.

Senior Ryan Kinnane ran a strong 3000m race finishing in 7:55.28, the second fastest time in school history and less than a second behind Brian Abshire’s school record of 7:54.66 set in 1986. Kinnane took sixth overall in the race, improving 13 spots from his finish a year ago. The Auburn women finished seventh with 41 points, the Tiger’s best finish at SEC indoors since 2012. Auburn’s men were 11th in the team standings with 29 points. Host Arkansas swept the team titles.

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