DES MOINES, Iowa – (Hawaii Athletics) University of Hawai'i senior TeRina Keenan is the school's lone representative at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Keenan will compete on the first day of the four-day competition, Wednesday, June 6 at 5:30 p.m. CT (12:30 p.m. HT) at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University.
Among the 24 competitors in the discus event, Keenan is seeded 11th. The field will be narrowed to 12 after the first round with the remaining 12 competing for the national championship.
The senior from Auckland, New Zealand earned a spot to nationals by placing eighth at the NCAA West Preliminary Round last week in Austin, Texas. The three-time Western Athletic Conference discus champion enters the meet with a personal-best mark of 179-2 (54.60m), which she set at the WAC Championships in Moscow, Idaho last month.
Under the guidance of first-year throws coach Seilala Sua-Zumbado, Keenan qualified for two events at the West Prelims – discus and shot put – for the first time in her career. This season, she has improved her personal best in the discus by nearly three feet and captured two medals in the shot put at the WAC Championships (bronze at indoor and silver at outdoor). Sua-Zumbado won seven NCAA Championships during her career at UCLA and still holds the championship meet discus record.
Keenan is one of UH's top throwers of all time. She will conclude her career with five medals at the WAC Championships (three gold and two silver) and having competed in four NCAA Regional events joining Novelle Murray, Meghan Weaver and Emily Sheppard as the school's only four-time regional qualifiers.
During her sophomore year, Keenan was ranked 13th nationally in the discus heading to the NCAA West Preliminary Round but finished a disappointing 19th and failed to qualify for nationals.
Keenan is the school's third discus thrower to compete at nationals following in the footsteps of Murray, who took ninth overall in 2007 and Joan Gago, who placed 19th in 1983. In the school's history, only two athletes have earned medals at the NCAA Outdoor Championship – high jumper Amber Kaufman (gold in 2010 and bronze in 2009) and long jumper Gwen Loud (gold in 1984).
In head coach Carmyn James' 12 years at UH, six athletes have qualified for the NCAA Championships in five different events. A Rainbow Wahine has now qualified for outdoor nationals six times in the last seven years.