GREENSBORO, N.C. – Miami University senior Layne Baggett continued her storied RedHawk track and field career by advancing to the quarterfinals of the 100m hurdles Friday evening at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, hosted by North Carolina A&T State University at Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium. Redshirt senior Diona Graves closed her record-setting Miami career Friday, however, running both the 100m and 200m dashes for a final time in the Red and White.
Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) punched her ticket to Saturday’s quarterfinals by crossing in a school-record 13.28, which was 14th among the 48 hurdlers in the first round. She broke the record of 13.31 that she tied earlier this year, which earned her the 15th seed entering the race and was first set by Miami Hall of Famer Becca Williams in 1996. Baggett automatically qualified for the quarterfinals by finishing third in her heat, as the top three in each of the six heats, along with the next six best times from the first round move on for a 24-woman quarterfinal. She actually had the 13th-fastest qualifying time, but is seeded 14th based on automatic qualifiers from other heats.
Baggett, who is the three-time Mid-American Conference 100m hurdles champion, will run in the quarterfinals Saturday at 7:05 p.m. She is one of two MAC hurdlers among the four in the first round to advance, along with Eastern Michigan’s Vanessa Clerveaux qualifying 16th. A pair of Clemson Tigers posted the top two qualifying times in the first round (12.72 and 12.92). In order to make the NCAA Championships, Baggett will have to be in the top 12 as the top three in each of the three quarterfinal heats automatically advance along with the next three fastest times. Last year, she also earned a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals and placed 20th.
Graves (Fenton, Mo.), who on Thursday placed 23rd out of 48 in the first round of the 100m dash (11.57) to advance, also finished 23rd in the quarterfinals Saturday in 11.65, which is the fourth-best time in school history, all clocked by Graves this year. The top 12 finishers from the quarterfinal heats advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. June 5-8. Central Florida’s Aurieyall Scott and LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan shared the top qualifying time of 11.05, while Graves was the lone MAC sprinter to even make the quarterfinals.
Just 90 minutes after running in the 100m quarterfinals, Graves ran in the 200m dash first round and placed 29th out of 48 in 24.04. Her 200m time is also the fourth-fastest time in Miami history, again all clocked by Graves this season. She improved on her seed four spots as she entered the race seeded 33rd with her school-record time of 23.75 from the MAC Championships. Graves was tops among the three MAC sprinters in the first round, however only the top 24 move on to Saturday’s quarterfinal, as she missed advancing by 17-hundredths of a second. UCF’s Scott had the top 200m qualifying time as well in 22.85.
Graves finishes her Miami career holding six school records: 200m and 4x400m relay indoors and 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays outdoors. She also won four MAC titles at this year’s outdoor championships, claiming the 100m and 200m individual gold medals and helping Miami sweep the relays.
Along with Baggett running in the 100m hurdles quarterfinals Saturday, junior Tori Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) looks to qualify for her third straight NCAA Championships in the javelin. She throws at noon in the third and final flight of the day. Paterra enters the meet seeded eighth in the East Prelims, while she was a First-Team All-American last year, finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships and fifth in the East Prelims. After three throws for all 48 throwers, the top 16 among all three flights get three more throws in the final with the top 12 from that group advancing to Eugene, Ore. for the NCAA Championships. Freshman Amelia Strickler (Bay Village, Ohio) also competes Saturday in the shot put at 5:30 p.m., with the same NCAA Championships qualification process as the javelin. Strickler is seeded 45th in the shot put.
To read a complete recap of Thursday’s action at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, click here.