For the first time since 2006, Maryland has a First Team All-American in men’s track and field.
Junior discus thrower Greg Thompson, who arrived at his second NCAA Outdoor Championships ranked fourth in the country, finished runner-up this week in Eugene, Oregon. After moving into the lead with a 58.66-meter (192’ 5”) throw on his second attempt, Thompson was in second place entering the finals. While he wasn’t able to match the 60.41 meters (198’ 2”) recorded by Memphis’ Luke Vaughn on his third throw, Thompson topped himself with a distance of 58.96 meters (193’ 5”) on his final try.
College track and field awards points to teams based on individual results, so Thompson’s runner-up finish gave the Terps eight points for the meet. It’s the first time Maryland has recorded points at men’s outdoor nationals since 2006, and the program hadn’t had a men’s or women’s top-two finisher in any event since then.
NCAA RUNNER UP! Greg Thompson finishes 2️⃣ in the Discus Throw #NCAAAllAmerican #Terps pic.twitter.com/2fttb9qgi3— Maryland Track Field (@MarylandTrack) June 9, 2018
NCAA RUNNER UP GREG THOMPSON #NCAATF #Discus pic.twitter.com/yPHKiKICmk— Maryland Track Field (@MarylandTrack) June 9, 2018
With three of the four throwers ranked ahead of Thompson—including NCAA champion Vaughn—in their senior year, the door will be wide open for the London native to capture an individual title next spring. For a program still trying to build its national profile, it’d be a monumental achievement.
- High jumper Sam Shoultz, who entered NCAAs ranked tied for sixth in the country, finished 12th with a jump of 2.13 meters (6’ 11.75”). The sophomore from Arizona impressed in his first year with the Terps after a season in junior college, and he’ll have two more cracks at becoming a First Team All-American.
- Senior Emma O’Hara closed her career with a 21st-place result in the hammer throw. After recording 60.42 meters (198’ 3”) at regionals and narrowly securing a spot in Eugene, O’Hara put up 59.65 meters (195’ 8”) on her third throw Thursday.
- Junior Jewel Smith placed 22nd in the long jump, landing at 5.94 meters (19’ 6”) on her first try. Smith earned a spot with a personal-best 6.24-meter (20’ 5.75”) leap in Tampa.
- Sophomore high jumper Dallyssa Huggins and senior discus thrower Claudia Ababio did not record results. The former failed to clear 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) on any of her three jumps, while Ababio fouled on all three of her throws. Neither was alone in these distinctions; only 18 high jumpers and 21 discus throwers put numbers on the board.
Maryland’s program-record total of six All-Americans wasn’t going to change no matter what happened this week, but Thompson’s and Shoultz’s results earned them First and Second Team honors, respectively. Those two, along with Smith and Huggins, will return next season as the Terps look to take the next step forward.
You can find all results from this week’s NCAA Championships here.