May 28, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - For the second straight day, a member of the Miami University women’s track and field team earned a spot in the NCAA Championships as redshirt junior Rachel Patterson clinched a berth in the 5000m run Saturday at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, held at Indiana University’s Haugh Track & Field Complex.
Patterson (Rochester, Mich.) crossed fourth in her heat, which automatically qualifies her for the NCAA Championships, as the top five in each of the two sections advance plus the next two best times for a total of 12. She placed seventh overall out of 48 between the two heats in 16:16.95, which is the third-best time in school history. Patterson entered the race ranked 15th in the East Region with her school-record time of 16:14.45, which she clocked April 14 at the Mt. SAC Relays in California. Georgetown’s Emily Infeld won the race in 15:55.50.
Patterson joins freshman Tori Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) as an NCAA Championship participant as Paterra qualified in the javelin on Friday, also finishing seventh. Patterson will run in the 5K National Championship Friday, June 10 at 8:10 p.m. Paterra throws the javelin on Thursday, June 9 at 3:05 p.m.
Junior Alexandra Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) also competed at the NCAA East Prelims Saturday in the discus but fouled on all three of her attempts. She qualified 40th with a toss of 48.72m/159-10, which she recorded at the MAC Championships two weekends ago. Tennessee’s Annie Alexander won the event with a throw of 58.58m/192-2. Roberts also threw the shot put on Friday at the East Regional but finished 34th and did not advance in that either.
The top 12 finishers in each event from the East and West Preliminary Rounds advance to the NCAA Championships, hosted by Drake University, June 8-11 in Des Moines, Iowa. Patterson and Paterra will each compete in a field of 24 when they try to earn a national title in two weeks.