LaFond, Melville, Smith Head to NCAAs

Maryland Athletics
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EUGENE, Ore.Thea LaFond will begin the University of Maryland’s participation at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Nationals on Friday in the women’s triple jump, then joins her teammates Saturday in the high jump.

Amina Smith and Amber Melville are also in the national field in the women’s high jump at nationals, as the Terrapin trio will reprise its participation at the NCAA Indoor Nationals last March.

“This will be the second trip for this group to the NCAAs in 2014,” said Maryland head coach Andrew Valmon, now in his 11th season with the Terrapins.

“We had a productive year and the success of this group has been contagious. We are looking forward to concluding our season in this way on the national stage.”

LaFond finished eighth in the triple jump at the NCAA East Preliminary rounds two weeks ago in Jacksonville, Fla. She tied for the top spot in the high jump, while Melville (6th) and Smith (T8th) also reached the top-12 in the East to earn the trip to historic Hayward Field.

“Our girls have had some productive training sessions over the last week,” said Valmon. “They are focused and ready to compete.”

The four-day championship meet begins on Wednesday. The women’s triple jump will begin Friday at 6:25 p.m. ET, with the high jump on Saturday at 3:45 p.m.

Information about the NCAA Outdoor Nationals is available at

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

  • Triple jump trials and finals on Friday, 6:25 p.m. EDT
  • High jump trials and finals on Saturday, 3:45 p.m. EDT

Season-best 43-1.75 in triple jump came at Florida Relays and with 8th-place finish at East Prelims… Has four 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 11th in triple jump for nationals.

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… One of only two jumpers without a miss through the East Prelims, clearing 5-11.25 and tying for 1st (Leontia Kallenou, Georgia)

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

  • Trials & Finals on Saturday, 3:45 p.m. EDT

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, but finished 6th with 5-11.25 clearance, one of 7 jumpers over at that height.

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

  • Trials & Finals on Saturday, 3:45 p.m. EDT

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… Finished T8th at East Prelims at 5-9.75, earning spot by having no misses until 5-11.25.