LaFond Earns Second NCAA Invitation

Maryland Athletics
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Maryland’s Thea LaFond earned an berth in a second event to the NCAA Outdoor Nationals, while Chioma Onyekwere improved her career best in the women’s shot put by two feet during Saturday’s events at the NCAA East Preliminary Round.

LaFond finished eighth in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 43 feet, 1-3/4 inches. Her placing among the top 12 earns her a spot in the NCAA Outdoor Nationals, to be held June 11 to 14 in Eugene, Ore.

LaFond, a Terrapin junior who holds the outdoor school record in the women’s triple jump, had qualified in the women’s high jump on Friday. Her mark, posted on her third attempt, matched her previous season-best set in early April at the Florida Relays.

Onyekwere came into Saturday’s competition with a personal record of 50-10.25 in the shot put. But she went 52-11 in her first attempt of the day, moving into second place all-time at Maryland, and earning a top-16 spot that earned her three more attempts.

She had four of her six attempts either match or surpass her previous career-best, but she placed 13th overall on Saturday, missing a berth at nationals by one place.

Joh’vonnie Mosley of Kent State was 12th at 53-7.50 to get the final qualifying spot.

Maryland will send three student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. LaFond will join fellow high jumpers Amina Smith and Amber Melville in Oregon.

Maryland posted strong performances over the three-day East Preliminary meet, as Myah Hicks, Lisa Meneau and Onyekwere each had season or career bests in their event.