May 24, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Miami University sophomore javelin thrower Tori Paterra will be making a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in two weeks after clinching a spot with a fifth-place finish Thursday at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, held at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium. Seniors Alexandra Roberts, Kelley Miller and Rachael Clay also competed at the NCAA East Prelims Thursday with Miller's and Clay's races their final competition as RedHawks.
Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) fired a throw of 47.34m/155-3, which is the ninth-best in school history, all of which she owns. She entered the first round seeded 10th in the region but placed fifth, securing her ticket June 6 at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Paterra was an Honorable Mention All-America last year. The top 12 finishers from the field of 48 advance to the NCAA Championships, as is the case for all events. Of the 12 in the javelin, four are from the Mid-American Conference with Paterra's throw tops of the four. Penn State's Lauren Kenney posted the best throw of 49.65m/162-10 to finish first.
Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio), who entered as the 23rd seed out of 48, placed 21st in the shot put with a heave of 14.98m/49-1.75. She was second among the six MAC athletes in the field while Louisville's Khadija Abdullah took first in the shot with a toss of 17.12m/56-2. Roberts will compete in the discus Friday at 3 p.m. as she is seeded 48th.
Miller (Dublin, Ohio), who was seeded 42nd in the 1500m, placed 24th in the first round with a time of 4:26.81, which is the seventh-fastest time in school history. She set the school record earlier this year and was the only MAC competitor in the field after winning the MAC title two weeks ago. Although finishing in the top 24, she did not advance to Saturday's quarterfinal as she was eighth in her heat while the top five in each of the four heats automatically advances despite the entire second heat being slower than Miller's time. Villanova's Emily Lipari posted the top time in the field (4:21.37).
Clay (Rossford, Ohio) finished 34th in the 400m dash in 54.28, improving from her 47th seed. Her time is the fifth-best in school history and her second-best this year while she placed seventh in her heat. The top three in each heat automatically advanced to Friday's quarterfinal. Clemson's Marlena Wesh clocked the top time in the field of 48 at 52.46.
In addition to Roberts competing in the discus Friday, junior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) will run in the first round of the 100m hurdles at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. She is seeded 32nd in the field of 48.