Senior Kyesha Neal and senior Liz Weiler will represent Toledo at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Thursday through Saturday, June 9-11, in Eugene, Ore.
Neal will throw in the discus finals Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Weiler will run in the 3,000m steeplechase at 5:02 p.m.; the finals of the event will take place Saturday at 3:54 p.m.“We’re working hard to develop a well-rounded program,” Head Coach Linh Nguyen said. “To have a thrower and a distance runner at the NCAA Championships shows we’re getting closer to that goal.”
Neal qualified for the NCAA meet with a career-best throw of 52.92m at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. The throw shot past her previous best of 49.55m, and put her ninth in the meet. The mark was the longest discus throw in school history.
“Kyesha decided to tack on three meters at the prelim meet,” Nguyen said. “The throw shows she’s a gamer. She got in there, threw a bomb and qualified.”
For Neal, it was about harnessing her potential as a thrower.“I tapped into what I had and have arrived where I think I could be as a thrower,” Neal said. “I’m just going to be me at the NCAA meet and keep that same mentality in Eugene.”
Weiler punched her ticket to the NCAA meet with a ninth-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 9:59.73. The time was the second-best time in school history and a personal best for Weiler. She bested her previous time by five seconds, a mark that was set at the same meet during the previous year.
“She ran 30 seconds faster at the NCAA meet than the MAC meet and became the second woman in Toledo history to run under 10 minutes,” Nguyen said. “She ran a fantastic race and did it when it counted the most.”
Weiler knows she accomplished one of her major goals at UT.
“Each year I’ve felt more confident and the NCAA Finals were in reach,” Weiler said. “This year it all came together at the right time. My goal in Eugene is to run a similar race, run smart, and earn a spot in the finals.”
The meet will be broadcast live on ESPN3.