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Maryland women's indoor track and field team finishes eighth in first B1G Championships

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Thirteen of the fourteen members of the Big Ten sent teams to the Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship and the Terrapins, led by All-Big Ten performers Amber Melville, Thea LaFond and Chioma Onyekwere placed a respectable eighth.

Courtesy Maryland Athletics

The Big Ten completed it's Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday and although Maryland didn't send a men's team to the competition, the Terps women garnered 53 points which was good enough to finish eighth among the thirteen competing institutions. (Northwestern doesn't field a women's team for this competition). Ohio State won the championship with 84 team points and the conference's other newcomer, Rutgers, finished 12th with 24 points just ahead of the 22 points earned by last place Iowa.

By virtue of her first place finish in the high jump (10 team points), Amber Melville was Maryland's only event winner and was named first team All-Big Ten. Melville's clearance of 1.86 meters (6'1.23"), should also make her the only Terrapin to automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament from these results.

Two Terrapins were named second team All-Big Ten performers - Thea LaFond, who earned team points for the Terps in three events, and shot putter Chioma Onyekwere. Onyekwere, a junior from Fairfax, VA, finished second in the shot put with a throw of 16.06 meters (52'-8") an indoor personal best for Onyekwere and the second best in Maryland history.

LaFond finished sixth (3 team points) in the 60 meter hurdles. Her time of 8.43 seconds was a personal best and, like Onyekwere, now sits second in the Terrapins record book. The senior, a Kennedy High School (Silver Spring, MD) graduate, placed third in the long jump (6 points) with a leap of 6.17 meters (20'-2.91") and second in the triple jump soaring 13.24 meters (43'-5.26"). In all, LaFond scored 17 of Maryland's 53 points.

In addition, freshman Peyton Wade finished fourth in the pentathlon with 3,776 points, Myah Hicks, a senior from Alexandria, VA placed fifth in the 800 meter run with a time of 2.07.87 and Canadian sophomore Micha Powell sprinted 400 meters in 54.45 seconds to finish sixth in that event. The team of Alexandra Lucki, Taylor Tucker, Charlotte Staver and Emily VandeWater picked up a team point for Maryland when they finished eighth in the distance medley (an event of 1,200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1,600 meters).

The NCAA Championships which will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas begin on March 12 and run through March 14 and will close out the indoor season.