Track Preps for ACC Outdoor Championships

April 16, 2013

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland's track and field team will hit the road this weekend to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Championships, which start on Thursday in Cary, N.C.

The Terps will be led two seniors and two sophomores who have all had strong seasons so far after completing a strong indoor season.

"We are looking to continue our momentum from the indoor season and carry this into the outdoor championships," said head coach Andrew Valmon. "The team has performed well in the early part of the season with many performances in the top of the region."

These top performances have led to four athletes being ranked heading into the ACC Championships. These rankings highlight Maryland's best two events: the throws and the jumps.

Senior Moriah Young, who ranks third all-time at Maryland in the shot put and second all-time in the hammer throw, is ranked as one of the top women's athletes in both events. She is expected to compete in both events and will be in contention for one of the top spots at the championships.

Another senior, Jon Hill, is ranked 17th in the East Region in the high jump after starting the outdoor season strong. Hill's best mark of 7-02.50 is tied for the fifth best mark in Maryland annals and has him in good position heading into this event.

In the women's high jump, sophomore Amber Melville is ranked in the top five of the East Region and currently holds the sixth best jump in outdoor Maryland history.

Fellow sophomore Thea LaFond is expected to finish highly in the high jump and the triple jump, as she is ranked in the top 25 for both events. She will also be competing in the long jump event.

The Terps have several other athletes who are expected to compete this weekend. In the men's throwing events, Pat Cole will be competing in the hammer and discus throw, while Josh Haghighi will compete in the shot put. Both men have demonstrated a strong ability in their respective events and have been improving with each competition this season.

On the women's side, freshman Chioma Onyekwere will take part in the shot put, hammer, and discus throw this weekend. During her first indoor season, Chioma secured the fourth best throw in Terps history in the shot put and is expected to have a great weekend. Junior Amina Smith will also represent the Terps in the high jump, along with Melville

In the track events, senior Mamadou Niang, who will be running in the 800 meter, will represent the men. The women will have four runners competing this weekend, led by senior Arielle Statham. Statham, who was a member of the 4x100 relay team that holds the fastest time at Maryland, will compete in the 4x100, the 4x400, and the 400 meter runs.

Juniors Becky Yep and Julie Sinkovitz will also be representing the Terps. Yep will be running the 5k, while Sinkovitz will be competing in the 800 meter. Sophomore Myah Hicks will also be running in the 800 meter with Sinkovitz.

Coach Valmon and the student-athletes are all looking forward to this weekend, as he believes the strong competition will lead to some great results.

"The goal for this weekend is to go out and compete. The conference meet is a time for head to head competition, and should bring out the best in our athletes," he said.