OXFORD, Ohio – Five RedHawks will have the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships this weekend, as the quintet represents the Miami University women’s track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds Thursday to Sunday in Greensboro, N.C. Seniors Layne Baggett and Diona Graves, junior Tori Paterra, sophomore Anna Lamb and freshman Amelia Strickler will compete at North Carolina A&T State University’s Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium, home to this year’s East Prelims.

The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds serve as the first and second/quarterfinal rounds (and in some events the semifinals) of the NCAA Championships. The top 48 athletes per event and the top 24 relay teams from each region (East and West) qualify for the Preliminary Rounds. The top 12 finishers in each event from both the East and West Preliminary Rounds advance to the NCAA Championships.

Graves opens action for Miami on Thursday with Lamb also competing, while Baggett runs Friday for the first time. Paterra and Strickler compete Saturday while some RedHawks could run in quarterfinals Saturday evening as well. Miami has sent five athletes to the NCAA East Prelims each of the last four years, including this year.

Making her first appearance at the NCAA Prelims, Graves (Fenton, Mo.) will run 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 May 10, en route to winning the 100m dash MAC title. Graves, a First-Team All-MAC performer, runs the 100m dash first round at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23. She runs in the first of six heats with the top three from each heat and the next six best times advancing to Friday’s 24-woman quarterfinal race at 6:30 p.m.

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 May 11 when she won the 200m dash for double gold. She also runs in heat one in the 200m dash first round at 8 p.m. Friday. She would then run in the quarterfinals Saturday at 7:35 p.m. if, like the 100m dash, she finishes in the top three in her heat or has one of the next six best times after the top three in the six heats, creating a 24-runner quarterfinal. 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.

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. The top 12 finishers in the 48-woman race advance directly to the NCAA Championships. A First-Team All-MAC performer, Lamb is one of just two MAC runners in the 10K semifinal field.

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. She runs in heat three of six and has the third-best qualifying time in her heat, while the top three finishers in each heat plus the next six best times move on to the 24-woman 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.

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, May 25 at noon. She is set to throw in flight three of three with the top 16 from all of the flights advancing to the final for three more attempts immediately after the third flight. The top 12 finishers from that group then move on to the NCAA Championships. 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, though she is the only one in flight three.

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 flight one of four in the first round Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Like the javelin, the top 16 after all four flights earn three more attempts in the final, with the top 12 advancing.

The final field of 24 for each event will gather in Eugene, Ore. June 5-8 at historic Hayward Field for the NCAA Championships, which are hosted by the University of Oregon.

Live results for the East Preliminary Rounds will be available on MURedHawks.com. 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 Preliminary Rounds being held in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas this weekend, as well.

--MURedHawks.com--