INDIANAPOLIS – Five members of the Miami University women’s track and field team have qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, held May 23-25 in Greensboro, N.C., as the NCAA announced the official field Thursday. Seniors Layne Baggett and Diona Graves, junior Tori Paterra, sophomore Anna Lamb and freshman Amelia Strickler will all head south with the hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

The first and second rounds (quarterfinal round) of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held at North Carolina A&T State University’s Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium. The top 48 athletes per event from both the East and West Regions qualify for the NCAA Prelims, which serves as the opening round(s) of the NCAA Championships.

Making her first appearance at the NCAA Prelims, Graves (Fenton, Mo.) earned a berth in both the 100m dash and 200m dash, as the lone RedHawk to qualify in two events. She is ranked 27th in the East Prelims in the 100m dash with her school-record time of 11.54, which she clocked in the prelims at the Mid-American Conference Championships last Friday, en route to winning the 100m dash MAC title. In the 200m dash, Graves is 33rd in the region with another school-record time of 23.75, which she also recorded at the MAC Championships last Saturday when she won the 200m dash as well for double gold. Graves, a First-Team All-MAC performer, will run the 100m dash first round at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23 and if she finishes in the top 24, would advance to Friday’s quarterfinal race at 6:30 p.m. She runs the 200m dash first round at 8 p.m. Friday, and would run in the quarterfinals Saturday at 7:35 p.m. if she places in the top 24 of the 200m first round. Graves is one of just two MAC sprinters to qualify for the 100m dash and one of three to make it in the 200m dash.

Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) will be making her third straight trip to the NCAA East Prelims in the javelin. She is the highest ranked RedHawk, coming in at No. 8 in the East Region with her school-record heave of 50.51m/165-8, which she earned at the All-Ohio Championships April 12. Paterra, who has made it to the NCAA Championships each of her first two years, including finishing seventh last year to garner First-Team All-America honors, will compete in the javelin Saturday at noon. She placed fifth at the NCAA East Prelims last year to advance and finished seventh in her first year at the NCAA Prelims. She is one of five MAC javelin throwers to qualify for the NCAA First Round.

Making her second trip to the NCAA East Prelims, Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is ranked 15th in the 100m hurdles with her time of 13.31, which ties the school record. She clocked the mark at the Sea Ray Relays April 12 before going on to win the MAC title in the 100m hurdles in 13.32 and earn First-Team All-MAC honors. Baggett will be one of four MAC hurdlers in the first round field on Friday, May 24 at 5 p.m., while the top 24 then move on to the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Last year, the three-time MAC 100m hurdles champion advanced to the quarterfinals, where she placed 20th.

Lamb (Granville, Ohio) qualified in the 10,000m run as she ranks 28th in the East Region with her school-record time of 34:35.39. She recorded her time April 25 when she won the Drake Relays 10K. Lamb, who also won the MAC 10,000m title this year, will run in the 10K semifinals at 9 p.m. on Thursday. A First-Team All-MAC performer, Lamb is one of just two MAC runners in the 10K semifinal field.

Strickler (Bay Village, Ohio) rounds out Miami’s competitors at the NCAA East Prelims, as she qualified 45th in the shot put with her heave of 14.81m/48-7.25, which ranks her third in school history. She recorded the mark April 27 at the RedHawk Invitational in Oxford. Strickler, one of seven MAC throwers in the field, will compete in the first round Saturday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m.

The top 12 finishers in each event at the East and West Preliminary Rounds then move on to the NCAA Championships, which are hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. June 5-8 at Hayward Field. The field for the Preliminary Rounds was determined based on times/marks recorded throughout the season. The Mississippi River serves as the dividing line between the East and West Regions with the West Prelims being held in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas.

--MURedHawks.com--