GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the third straight year, Miami University junior Tori Paterra clinched a spot in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships by qualifying in the javelin at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds Saturday at North Carolina State A&T University’s Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium. Senior Layne Baggett concluded her tremendous RedHawk career on Saturday, as well, while freshman Amelia Strickler got her first taste of the East Prelims.
Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) becomes just the third RedHawk in program history to make the NCAA Championships three times, along with Andrea Kremer (2001, 2003-04) and Sarah Landau (2005-07). Paterra would be the first Miamian to ever qualify four times if she were to make it next year. She qualified this year on her third and final attempt of the first round Saturday. Stuck in 23rd place heading into her last throw, and needing to finish in the top 16 to move on to the finals, Paterra rifled the javelin 47.22m/154-11 to make the finals in ninth. After another three throws for the top 16, Paterra was in 10th, punching her ticket, along with the rest of the top 12, to Eugene, Ore., where the NCAA Championships will be held June 5-8.
Paterra, who entered the East Prelims seeded eighth with her school-record throw of 50.51m/165-8, will compete at the NCAA Championships at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field on Wednesday, June 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT (local). Last year, she earned First-Team All-America honors by finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships, after a fifth-place showing at the East Prelims. Paterra is the lone representative from the Mid-American Conference in the javelin at the NCAA Championships, while Penn State’s Lauren Kenney posted the top throw in the East Prelims of 54.02m/177-3. The top 12 from the West Preliminary Rounds also head to Eugene for a 24-woman NCAA Championship field.
In her last race as a RedHawk, Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished 17th (out of 24) in the 100m hurdles quarterfinals in 13.42, after breaking the school record in Friday’s first round, when she ran to 13.28 to qualify 14th. Her time Saturday is the seventh-fastest in school history, five of which Baggett owns. She was sixth in her heat, while the top three in each of the three heats and the next three best times advanced to the NCAA Championships, as 12 runners moved on, led by a pair of Clemson Tigers. She was the top MAC hurdler in Saturday’s quarterfinals among the two that made it, but missed advancing by 13-hundredths of a second. Baggett finishes her Miami career with three school records (60m hurdles, 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay) and is a four-time MAC Champion, including three times in the 100m hurdles. She also improved on her showing from last year’s East Prelims, when she was 20th in the quarterfinals.
Strickler (Bay Village, Ohio) placed sixth in flight one out of 12 and was 39th out of 48 overall in the shot put with her throw of 13.91m/45-7.75, which she recorded on her first attempt. She improved by six spots from her seed as she entered 45th with her toss of 14.81m/48-7.25, which ranks her third in school history. She was fourth among the seven MAC competitors in the field Saturday, while the top 12 overall advanced to the NCAA Championships, led by Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson (18.27m/59-11.25). Kent State’s Danniel Thomas also qualified in seventh as the lone MAC thrower to advance.
Paterra is the only RedHawk to advance to the NCAA Championships among the five that qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. For the remainder of Miami’s team, the 2013 season is complete. Check back with MURedHawks.com for complete coverage of Paterra at the NCAA Championships.