Seven Terps Ready for NCAA East Prelims

Maryland Athletics
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Seven University of Maryland student-athletes will participate this weekend in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds as part of qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Nationals.

Seniors Josh Haghighi and Amina Smith, juniors Thea LaFond, Myah Hicks and Amber Melville, sophomore Chioma Onyekwere and freshman Lisa Meneau will travel to the University of North Florida, trying to post a top-12 finish that will advance them to Nationals.

The top 48 qualfiers in each event in the eastern half of the U.S. reached the East Preliminaries. Rounds will be held to reach the top 12 finishers, who will advance to the NCAA Nationals on June 11 to 14 in Eugene, Ore.

Maryland will have three participants in the women’s high jump on Friday, as Smith (4th), LaFond (T7th) and Melville (T10th) have Maryland’s top seeds in the meet. LaFond is also ranked ninth in the women’s triple jump.

Competition will begin Thursday at noon and continues through Saturday night.

Schedules, results and start lists are available at UNF’s track and field web site at

Brief thumbnails on Maryland’s participants follow:

JOSH HAGHIGHI (Sr., Roslyn Heights, N.Y.) – Men’s Shot Put

Competition on Thursday, 4 p.m.

Career-best of 57-11.75 came in outdoor season-opener at UTEP Springtime Meet, which he won… Mark is 8th all-time at Maryland, but was first among top 10 in shot in 29 years… Also surpassed 57 feet with 2nd-place finish at Kehoe Twilight (57-0.75)… Placed 5th at ACC Outdoor (54-9.25)… Collegiate best outdoors prior to this season was 54-2… Seeded 41st in East.

MYAH HICKS (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) – Women’s 800

First round on Thursday, 8:35 p.m.

Quarterfinals on Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Season-best 2:07.87 came at Florida Relays, where she finished 7th… Had 2:08.09 to place 9th at ACC Outdoor… Was 16th in 800 at ECAC Outdoor… Career-best 2:06.61 came in 2012 at the U.S. Junior Nationals and is 2nd all-time at Maryland… Also ranks 7th on Terp outdoor lists at 1,500… Member of school-record 4x800 relay team from 2013 Penn Relays… Ranks 3rd at Maryland in 800 indoors… Seeded 41st in East.

THEA LaFOND (Jr., Silver Spring, Md.) – Women’s High Jump & Triple Jump

High jump prelims on Friday, 5 p.m.

Triple jump prelims on Saturday, 5 p.m.

Career-best high jump of 6-0 came with tie for first (Smith) at Kehoe Twilight… One of only six Maryland women over 6-0 outdoors… T2nd in high jump at ACC Outdoor (5-11.25), won by Smith… Went 6-0.75 indoors to win ACC Pentathlon and rank 4th at Maryland… Seeded T7th in high jump at East Prelims… Season-best 43-1.75 in triple jump came at Florida Relays… Has three marks past 40 feet this season, including 5th at Penn Relays and win at Kehoe Twilight… 10th in triple jump at 2014 ACC Outdoor… Holds Maryland school record outdoors in triple jump with 43-5.75 at 2013 NCAA Outdoor Nationals… Reigning ACC champ indoors in triple jump (43-6.50) and pentathlon (4,222)… USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region and ACC Women’s Field Performer of the Year indoors in 2014… Second team All-America indoors in pentathlon… Seeded 9th in triple jump for East Prelims.

AMBER MELVILLE (Jr., Westminster, Md.) – Women’s High Jump

Prelims on Friday, 5 p.m.

Season-best outdoors of 5-11.50 came with win at Maryland Invitational… Placed 7th at ACC Outdoor (5-10)… First team All-American indoors in 2014 with T7th at NCAA Indoor (5-11.25)… Career-best of 6-0.75 outdoors came with win at 2013 ACC Outdoor… T3rd with Smith on Terps’ outdoor list… Went 6-1.25 to win 2014 ACC Indoor title (2nd all-time indoors)… Somewhat hampered by injury during outdoor season… Seeded T10th for East Prelims.

LISA MENEAU (Fr., Winchester, Va.) – Women’s 400 Hurdles

First round on Thursday, 5 p.m.

Quarterfinals on Friday, 7:45 p.m.

Collegiate-best of 58.66 came with third-place finish at ACC Outdoor… Has three sub-60 marks this season, including 58.83 in ACC prelims… Mark ranks 3rd all-time at Maryland and is one of only four Terps ever under 60 seconds in 400H… Also had season-best 14.21 in 100 hurdles (9th all-time at UMD)… Member of women’s shuttle hurdles relay team that broke school record twice this season (57.07 at 2014 Penn Relays)… Seeded 23rd at East Prelims, but third among freshmen.

CHIOMA ONYEKWERE (Soph., Fairfax, Va.) – Women’s Shot Put

Prelims on Saturday, 4 p.m.

Career-best 50-10.25 came with sixth-place finish at 2014 ACC Outdoor… Has Terps’ six best marks of season in shot put, including five over 49 feet… Won individual titles at Sam Howell Invitational, Maryland Invitational and UTEP Springtime Meet… Ranks 3rd all-time at Maryland and is one of only four Terp women past 50 feet… Ranks 4th all-time indoors (50-5.25)… Seeded 28th for East Regional.

AMINA SMITH (Sr., Lusby, Md.) – Women’s High Jump

Prelims on Friday, 5 p.m.

Won 2014 ACC Outdoor title with 6-1.50, as rain moved HJ competition indoors at UNC… Mark ranks as Maryland’s indoor school record… Also over 6 feet outdoors this season at Florida Relays (2nd, 6-0.75, ranks as her outdoor career-best) and Kehoe Twilight (T1st w/LaFond, 6-0)… T3rd with Melville on Terps’ outdoor list… Competed in 2014 NCAA Indoor (12th), earning second team All-America status… Seeded 4th at East Regional.