Hammer Throwers Set Tone for Terps at ACCs

Maryland Athletics
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C.Sonya Napariu and Pat Cole opened the day in style and Thea LaFond closed it with another strong performance to highlight University of Maryland performances during Thursday’s opening day of the Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Napariu and Cole each scored for the Terrapins in the hammer throws, which were the first events of the championships.

LaFond used her final attempt in the women’s long jump to move from eighth to fourth place and post her career-best in the event.

Following the first of three days of competition, Maryland had eight points for a tie for seventh in the women’s team standings, while the Terps’ two points on the men’s side were tied for 10th.

Napariu had a throw of 179 feet, 9 inches in the women’s hammer to place sixth. The sophomore hit her best mark on her final attempt – a mark that was more than eight feet past her previous career-best and moved her from seventh to sixth in the final standings.

She improved from 10th to seventh all-time at Maryland after posting her previous personal record two weeks ago. Lea Johnson of Miami won the event at 201-4.

Cole also posted a PR in the men’s hammer, finishing seventh at 183-0 to improve on his 10th-place seeding coming into the championships. A year ago, he placed sixth at the ACC Outdoor at 170-0. Cole was the only finalist who improved on his season-best mark at the conference meet.

Tomas Kruzliak of Virginia Tech won the men’s hammer at 214-4.

LaFond went 20-1.75 on her final attempt in the women’s long jump, also setting a PR. It was her first time outdoors past 20 feet, as she became the eighth Maryland woman ever to clear that milestone in the long jump. Her mark moved her into a tie for seventh on the Terps’ all-time top-10.

Freshman Lisa Meneau also had a breakout effort for Maryland on Thursday. She cut nearly two seconds off her previous season-best in the 400-meter hurdles, running 58.83.

She will enter Saturday’s final as the second-seed, behind only fellow freshman Jamika Glades of Miami, who ran 58.53. The top three marks all came from the same heat in the 400 hurdles.

Meneau became only the fourth Terrapin woman ever to best 60 seconds in the event, moving her into third place on the school’s all-time list.

Teammate Alexandra Cimino also posted a season-best in the long hurdles, placing 15th at 1:03.44.

Maryland also got season-bests on Thursday from Alexa Squirinni (4:41.79 in the women’s 1,500), John Davenport (22-0.25, men’s long jump), Derek Holland (20-2.25, men’s long jump), Terrence Maliff (55.25, men’s 400 hurdles) and Tom Hogarty (3:59.15, men’s 1,500).

Action continues at the ACC Outdoor Championships on Friday, with most track finals and the awards presentations on Saturday.