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
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
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