Smith, Melville Earn First Team All-America Status

Maryland Athletics
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EUGENE, Ore. – Maryland senior Amina Smith cleared 6 feet, 1-1/4 inches on her final attempt to finish fifth in the women’s high jump Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by the University of Oregon.

Smith and junior Amber Melville each earned first team All-America status with their finish among the top eight in the event. Melville made 6-0 to place seventh in the competition.

Junior Thea LaFond was the third Terrapin in the women’s high jump at nationals and she placed 15th at 5-9.75.

LaFond, who also was 20th in the women’s triple jump on Friday at 41-2.25, will earn second team All-America status in the high jump and honorable mention in the triple jump.

"This trip to the NCAA was a great way to end the season," said head coach Andrew Valmon. "We finished with two first team All-Americans and one second team All-American."

"Our motto this year has been: 'honor the past, live in the present, and create the future'.  This group did a great job of making Maryland history and setting the stage for the road ahead.  
"I am especially proud of the way that Amina ended her senior year with an outstanding performance," said Valmon. "Amber and Thea will continue to lead the way for the future and bring more along with them.
"We have the staff in place to get things done and I appreciate their support throughout the season.  Frank Costello has done a tremendous job getting our ladies ready for a high level of competition and he embodies the legacy of Maryland Track and Field."

The six points earned by Smith and Melville in the high jump put Maryland in a tie for 37th in the final team standings. There were 67 scoring teams on the women’s side at the national championships.

Texas A&M scored 75 points to win the women’s national team championship, while host Oregon had 88 to easily beat Florida’s 70 for the men’s title.

Smith needed a second attempt at 5-9.25 and at 6-0. She was one of only five competitors over the bar at 6-1.25 to finish in fifth.

Smith, who earlier this season won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship at the outdoor meet, moved into second all-time at Maryland on the outdoor list in the high jump, posting the best mark by a Terrapin since Paula Girven’s school-record 6-2 leap in 1980.

Melville was clear until needing a second attempt at 5-10.25 and 6-0. She was one of only eight athletes to make 6-0, earning her first team All-America status. The mark was a season-best for Melville, who had battled injuries throughout the outdoor season.

LaFond made her first two heights of the competition, but failed at 5-10.25 to place 15th.

On Friday, LaFond surpassed 40 feet in the triple jump for the fifth time this season, but failed to advance to the nine-woman final.