Maryland Qualifies Nine for NCAA East Regional

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland track and field team has qualified nine athletes for the 2017 NCAA East Regional Meet May 25-27 in Lexington, Ky. as announced today by the NCAA. The Terps will have athletes in action on all three days of the event held at the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

The top 48 declared student athletes in an event from each region are accepted into the competition, with the top 12 regional placers advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon June 7-10. A full list of qualifiers can be found here

Senior Micha Powell is a three-time NCAA East Regional qualifier in the 400 meter dash, and enters this year's Regional with the No. 20 seed in the event. Powell's season-best mark of 53.05 came at the Big Ten Championships, where she medaled in the 400 with a third place finish. Last season Powell ran a 51.97 in the finals of the 400 to qualify for the 2016 NCAA Championships. The mark reset her own school record, and was fourth in the field in the East quarterfinal round as the Ontario, Canada native punched her ticket to her first career outdoor appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Senior Lisa Meneau will compete in her second career NCAA East Regional in the 400 meter hurdles as the No. 8 overall seed. The Winchester, Va. native finished with Second Team All-Big Ten honors after finishing as the runner up at the B1G Championships, and set a new school record in the process. Her time of 56.78 was almost a second faster than her previous PR, and topped Terrapin great Kiani Profit's ('11) school record of 57.35 set back during the 2010 season.

Junior Alexandra Lucki will make her second career appearance at the NCAA East Regional in the 1500 meter run. Lucki's season-best mark of 4:18.87 at the Florida Relays earned her the No. 14 qualifying time in the region, as the time set a new career best for the Toronto, Ontario native. Lucki came through with a huge performance at the East Regional last season, out-running her No. 44 seed to eventually finish 12th in the field and advance to her first NCAA Championship.

Junior Peyton Wade secured her third career NCAA East Regional bid in the high jump after jumping a career-best 5'11.5” at the UVA Challenge this season. Wade's mark ranks tied for eighth in the region, and moved her into the No. 7 spot on the Maryland all-time list. Wade is coming off a runner up performance in the heptathlon, where she scored 5323 points to earn Second Team All-Big Ten honors. 

Junior Claudia Ababio has qualified for her first East Regional in two events, as she gets set to compete in both the shot put and discus throw. Ababio currently owns the No. 8 seed in the discus, after throwing a school-record 180' 8" (55.08m) at the Virginia Quad Meet. Ababio will also compete in the shot put, where she enters as the No. 42 seed after throwing a career-best 50' 4" (15.34m) in the Hopkins Invitational.

Junior Emma O'Hara will compete in her first career regional meet after setting a new school record in the hammer throw. O'Hara's mark of 191' 4" (58.32m) at the Larry Ellis Invitational moved her into first all-time in the event at Maryland, while she took ninth in the field at the Big Ten Championships. She will enter the event as the No. 44 seed. 

Junior Kayla Richardson has earned her first career regional bid in the women's long jump as the No. 35 seed. Richardson jumped a career-best 20' 1.75" (6.14m) at the Virginia Challenge to qualify, and moved into a tie for seventh all-time at Maryland with the mark.

Sophomore Greg Thompson will make his first career NCAA Regional appearance as the No. 9 seed in the discus. Thompson made history for the Terps this year in the event, breaking the school record with a throw of 197' 9" (60.28m) at the Kehoe Twilight Meet. The mark broke Alan Baginski's 34-year school record in the event (196-00 – 1983), and the London, England native was named the Big Ten Men's Field Athlete of the Week for his efforts.

Sophomore Jewel Smith was added to the field in the women's long jump as the No. 48 seed after a medical scartch was announced in the event Sunday. Smith will make her first career NCAA East Regional appearance after jumping 19' 11" (6.07m) at the Penn Relays this season.