COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An unprecedented opening weekend and the nation’s best marks have put Maryland’s Thea LaFond in the national spotlight.
LaFond, a junior from Silver Spring, Md., won both the women’s high jump and triple jump last Saturday at the Penn State Relays. Those performances have earned recognition from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association as the NCAA National Women’s Athlete of the Week, as well as the season-opening honor as the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Performer of the Week.
Her mark of 5 feet, 11.25 inches in the high jump matched the result of teammate Amina Smith and were the best clearances in the nation on the first full week of the season. She and Smith were two of three athletes nationally to hit 5-11.25.
She posted a triple jump of 42-2 for the individual win at Penn State and again posted the best mark in the nation so far this season. Her mark was only two inches less than her indoor best in that event.
LaFond is the defending ACC champion in the pentathlon indoors and earned second team All-America honors a year ago.
She shared the national athlete of the week honor with thrower Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Purdue and the ACC award with Florida State’s James Harris.
Maryland hosts the Terrapin Indoor Invitational on Saturday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. Running and field events begin at 9 a.m.