The 2012 season included many accomplishments for the Miami University Women’s Track and Field team: several broken records, personal bests and amazing competition on a weekly basis.
Three RedHawks had exceptional performances in the latter stages, putting Miami on the map.
Sophomore javelin thrower Tori Paterra advanced to the NCAA Championship meet at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Paterra finished in seventh place, with her season best throw of 49.67 meters/162-11 feet.
The throw landed her with second farthest distance in school history, behind her own record of 49.91 meters/163-9 feet, set last season. Paterra’s performance earned her First Team All-American honors, the first time since 2008 a women’s track athlete has won the honor, and the second thrower in school history to earn the prestigious honor.
“Tori has been focusing on this meet ever since the disappointing third place at the [Mid-American Conference (MAC)] Championships,” Head Coach Kelly Phillips said. “She’s been very focused the past few weeks and was chomping at the bit to get on the runway. I’m not sure what was more exciting: watching Tori throw so well or watching [Throws Coach] Stacey Wannemacher look like she was going to throw up the entire time. Stacey has really made a huge impact on these women her first year and it will be fun to see Tori and the rest of the throws group continue to develop over the next few years.”
Paterra said she worked all year through a slow, but steady process of improvement and is happy it paid off.
Paterra followed her freshman year MAC Title with another big year and is looking to capitalize for next season.
Junior hurdler Layne Baggett also had a strong post season. Baggett qualified to the Midwestregional meet, her first time there. While in Jacksonville, Fla. at the University of North Florida’s Stadium, Baggett ran her personal best, 13.43 seconds, the third best in school history and the fastest time Miami has seen sine 1996. Baggett finished 21 in a field of 48.
“It’s a different world out there,” Baggett said. “The competition outside the MAC is so much greater and it really intimidates, but pushes you to do well. I feel I could have done better, had I not put so much pressure on myself, but I’m happy with where I finished.”
2012 standout and senior Rachael Clay qualified for the regional meet in the 400-meter dash, clocking a 53.97, second best time in Miami history. Clay finished the regional meet running a 54.28 second 400, placing 34th. Clay recorded her second fastest time for the 2012 season.
“It felt good to compete on such a high level,” Clay said. “Finishing 13 spots higher than I was seeded was fun for my last meet.”
Clay will now head to grad school at the University of Kentucky, but said she will return to continue to support RedHawk track & field.
“I think it’s important for alumni to return to support athletics and the university in general,” Clay said. “I’m looking forward to being at a lot of the meets close by, like [the University of Cincinnati] and Ohio State [University].”
The team had a strong 2012 season, showing a lot of resiliency and focus with two new coaches, injuries and multiple athletes competing in new events. The 2013 outdoor season should provide many more exciting moments for Miami track and field.