May 23, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - Aiming to earn a berth in the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, five members of the Miami University women's track and field team head south to Jacksonville, Fla. this Thursday to Saturday to compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. The five RedHawks who earned a spot in the East Prelims are seniors Rachael Clay, Kelley Miller and Alexandra Roberts, junior Layne Baggett and sophomore Tori Paterra. The five qualifiers match Miami's number of participants from each of the last two years in the East Prelims.
The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which serve as the first and second rounds of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, are held at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium. A total of 48 athletes are entered in each event at both the East and West Prelims with the fields being determined based on the top times and marks earned throughout the outdoor season. The top 12 finishers in each event at both prelims advance to the NCAA Championships. The West Prelims are being held in Austin, Texas and are hosted by the University of Texas this weekend, as well.
The highest-seeded RedHawk is Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.), who is ranked 10th in the region in the javelin after earning Honorable Mention All-America in the javelin as a freshman last year when she made the NCAA Championships. She qualified with her throw of 48.46m/159-0 from the All-Ohio Championships April 20, when she finished second. Her throw is the fifth-best in school history, all of which she owns. Paterra is one of five athletes from the Mid-American Conference to qualify in the javelin, which is held Thursday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m., while the top 16 move on to a three-attempt final immediately after in hopes of making the top 12.
For the second straight year, Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) competes in two events, as she's seeded 23rd in the shot put and earned the 48th and final spot in the discus. This is her third straight year throwing in the shot put at the East Prelims. She qualified in the shot put with a school-record throw of 15.69m/51-5.75 on March 24 at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational and in the discus with a toss of 47.64m/156-3 on April 21 at the All-Ohio Championships. Her throw in the discus is the eighth-best throw in school history. She is one of six MAC athletes in the shot put and one of five in the discus. Roberts throws the shot put first on Thursday, May 24 at 1 p.m. while the discus takes place Friday, May 25 at 3 p.m. Like with the javelin, the top 16 in each event advance to a three-attempt final immediately after the first round, looking to finish in the top 12.
Running in the 100m hurdles is Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who is seeded 32nd in the East Region after clocking 13.56, which jumped her to second in school history. She posted her time May 12 at the MAC Championships when she won the MAC title in the 100m hurdles. Baggett is one of just two 100m hurdlers from the MAC that will run in the first round on Friday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m. The top three finishers in each of the six heats plus the next nine best times regardless of heat advance to the quarterfinals, which are Saturday, May 26 at 7:20 p.m. Baggett runs in heat one on Friday.
Miller (Dublin, Ohio) runs in the 1500m, also doing so at the 2010 East Prelims, as she's seeded 42nd in the event. She clinched a berth with her school-record time of 4:23.64, which she clocked April 28 at the Drake Relays, placing seventh in the race. She is the only MAC runner in the field of 48, after winning the MAC 1500m title May 12 for the second time in her career. Miller will run in the first round Thursday, May 24 at 6 p.m. and would run again Saturday, May 26 at 6:45 p.m. should she qualify for the quarterfinals. To move on to the quarterfinals, Miller must finish in the top five in her heat or have one of the next four best times after the top five in each heat.
Rounding out Miami's participants at the East Prelims is Clay (Rossford, Ohio), who is entered in the 400m dash, ranking 47th with a time of 53.97, which is the second-best mark in school history. She clocked her time May 11 during the prelims of the 400m dash at the MAC Championships, where she finished fifth. Clay is among four MAC athletes to qualify in the event and will run in the first round Thursday, May 24 at 7:45 p.m. Should she finish in the top three in her heat or have one of the next nine best times after the top three in each heat, she would run again Friday, May 25 at 6:15 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Live results for the prelims will be available on MURedHawks.com. The final field of 24 for each event (top 12 from both prelims) will meet in Des Moines, Iowa June 6-9 for the NCAA Championships, hosted by Drake University.