MILWAUKEE, Wis. (June 8, 2011) -
Samia Taylor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team is headed to Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend for the NCAA Championships hosted by Drake University.
Taylor is competing in the triple jump, which will be held Friday evening.
What, Where and When
While the NCAA Championship meet runs Wednesday through Saturday, Taylor's triple jump gets underway Friday evening at 5:35 p.m. The meet is hosted by Drake in Des Moines, Iowa. Live results are available here. The link will provide live standings, updating on a jump-by-jump basis. The NCAA has a free webcast available Friday, but it does not begin until 6:30 p.m. The webcast is available here.
Taylor was randomly selected to compete in the first flight of the event. After three jumps, the top nine advance to the finals for three more jumps.
A Q&A with Samia Taylor is available in the Verizon Panther BlogZone here.
How She Got Here
Taylor is on a roll the last few weeks and heads into the NCAA Championships having set personal records at her last three meets. At the Horizon League Championships, she broke school and league marks on her way to a league title. The next week, she won the event at the Cardinal Twilight, breaking the record once again.
At the NCAA West Preliminaries May 27, she took sixth in dramatic fashion. After fouls on each of her first two attempts, she went 41-9 3/4 on jump No. 3 to move into 10th place and qualify for the 16-person finals. With three more attempts, she leapt 42-4 1/4 on attempt No. 4 to move into the top five. By the end, she settled into sixth place.
For video highlights of the Panthers at the NCAA West Preliminaries, click here.
Something to Shoot For
The USTFCCCA awards All-American awards for track and field. For the first time, there are multiple All-America teams, with all scoring competitors (typically top eight) earning first-team status. Places nine through 16 are named to the second team, while all other competitors earn honorable mention honors.
The top eight finishers score team points with 10 points awarded to first place, eight to second, six to third and so on. The Panther women are looking for their first point at an NCAA Division I meet.
A Look at the Field
Based on her performance at the NCAA West Preliminaries, Taylor is seeded 10th in the triple jump entering the NCAA Championships. Her school-record leap of 42-4 1/2 put her sixth at the West prelims. Last season, the national champion leapt 45-11 3/4 at the finals, while eighth place was 42-11 and 16th place was 41-9 3/4. Eight of the 24 competitors competed at the NCAA Championships, making Taylor one of 16 newcomers to the field. She is also one of eight underclassmen and five sophomores competing.
Some Panther History
Taylor is Milwaukee's first national meet competitor since Nick Gretz in the men's discus throw in 2007. Taylor and Gretz are the only field competitors to go to nationals for the Panthers since they moved to Division I for the 1991 track season. The team has garnered a pair of All-American awards, both by Cory Peterson in the indoor 800m (1996, 1997). Other UWM track and field athletes at nationals: Angie Molter (1996 | Outdoor 10,000m) and Tim Kenney (1995 | Indoor 800).
The Panthers have a rich history of All-Americans and national championships at the NAIA level, with 58 individual All-Americans and relay teams. Taylor is vying to be the first All-American in the triple jump in school history.
Around the Horizon League
Taylor is one of four Horizon League athletes competing at the national meet. She's joined by Cassandra Lloyd of Wright State and Kris Gauson and Kirsty Legg of Butler.