Six Terps Punch Tickets to NCAA Championships

Maryland Athletics
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Six tickets were punched for the NCAA final round of competition at this weekend’s East Prelims.  This marks a program best for the Terrapin squad with all six athletes on the map as national contenders.  The additional three squad members who attended the prelims all finished within the top tier of competition, putting themselves in close contention for a final round position.

Throughout the weekend, the Terps competed with the intention of finishing within the top 12 competitors that will move on to the final rounds in Eugene, Oregon. 

As stated by head coach Andrew Valmon, “Our athletes brought their A-game this weekend.  They made the most of every opportunity at this competition and for us to advance a majority of the athletes to the final round is a testament to the focus they showed.  I am also proud of the fight I saw from our three athletes who just missed qualification.  This group set the tone for what is to come in the program.”

Greg Thompson will compete for the second time at the NCAA finals in the men’s discus.  Thompson launched a throw of 59.24m (194’4”) to earn the #2 qualifying spot for the final rounds in Eugene.  Thompson will look to add more accolades to his career in the coming week and is currently ranked #5 in the NCAA.

Sam Shoultz fought through rainy conditions to qualify in the high jump.  Shoultz is currently ranked #9 in the NCAA and has posted consistent performances throughout the season.  In the preliminary rounds, competition concludes when a clear field of 12 has been concluded from the original 48 competitors.  Shoultz emerged as the 8th competitor to move on after a clearance over 6’11”.

Claudia Ababio competed in three events at the East Prelims including Shot Put, Hammer, and Discus.  Her NCAA ticket came from the Discus competition where she placed 11th with a throw of 52.13m (171’0”).  In the Shot Put, Ababio threw a lifetime best of 16.01m (52’6.50”) to finish 16th.  Her final event of the weekend was the Hammer.  She launched a throw of 58.19m (187’7”) to finish 28th.

Emma O’Hara held her spot in the NCAA finals after securing a mark of 60.42m (198’3”) in the last round of throws.  The senior punched her ticket with a 12th place finish and will look to continue this momentum on to Oregon.  O’Hara has continued to shine in the Hammer this season with multiple marks over 60m.

Dallyssa Huggins notched her ticket to Oregon with a jump of 5’10.75” (1.80m) in the high jump.  In addition to being a multi-event competitor, Huggins has shown consistency and strength in the open high jump over the season of competition.  She finished 5th at the NCAA prelims and will contend for All-American status in the coming week.

Peyton Wade narrowly missed an invitation to the final rounds in the high jump placing 18th after a clearance over 5’8.75”.  Wade holds a personal best of 5’11.50” in the event and has made her mark in the Maryland program through the multi-events, jumps, and hurdles.    

Jewel Smith set a new personal best on her first attempt in the long jump to secure her spot at the NCAA finals.  Smith leaped 20’5.75” (6.24m) to pave her way to Oregon.  Smith finished 8th in the NCAA prelims, moving her well above her ranking entering the competition. 

Kayla Richardson leaped 5.99m (19’8”) in the long jump competition after sitting through a weather delay.  The senior had a respectable finish of 16th place that was an improvement on her pre-competition ranking.  This marks Richardson’s second appearance at the NCAA first round and finishes out her career that highlighted several key performances in the jumping events.

Xahria Santiago, moved through the rounds of competition in the 400m hurdles to compete for a spot at the NCAA finals.  Santiago narrowly missed the qualifying window finishing in 13th with a time of 57.84.   The freshman from Canada will continue her season at the World Junior Championships this summer.

Stay tuned for results from the NCAA Outdoor Final Rounds in Eugene, Oregon June 6th-9th.