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Miller Highlights Day Two

Jun 10, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. – Virginia Miller threw two lifetime bests on the way to placing seventh in the women's javelin at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday at Hayward Field.

Miller, a junior in eligibility, topped out at 178-9 (54.49 meters), an improvement of seven feet over her best entering the day, and a season improvement of 16 feet. She earned first-team All-America honors and became the first Cardinal, man or woman, to achieve a U.S. Olympic Trials automatic qualifying mark.

Among the three events five Cardinal women competed in Friday, the javelin was the only one with a final. 

Ella Donaghu won her semifinal in the 1,500 and Christina Aragon was fourth, giving them both automatic qualifying spots to Saturday's final. Julia Heymach was in qualifying position in that race too, but stumbled and fell five meters from the finish line and did not advance. 

Alexa Rossum became the first Cardinal woman to reach the NCAA Championships in the 100 or 200 since 2012. Rossum did not reach the final in either, placing 21st in each race. 


Christina Aragon, Julia Heymach, Ella Donaghu. Photo by Chuck Aragon.          

Miller entered the competition with the 20th-best season mark and had to emerge from the first flight to reach the nine-person final. Her opening throw set the tone, with a lifetime best of 176-2 (53.71m). She bettered that on her third throw and that was the mark that carried her the rest of the way and brought Miller past the 54.00-meter U.S. Trials standard.

Miller nearly matched the sixth-place that her father, Foss Miller of Washington State, finished in the javelin at the 1968 NCAA Championships in Berkeley. 

This marks the eighth first-team All-America performance by a Stanford woman in the javelin over the past five seasons, joining Mackenzie Little, a two-time champion, and Jenna Gray. It also marks the ninth consecutive season with a Stanford All-American in the women's javelin, a streak that began in 2011 with runner-up Eda Karesin. 

In the 1,500, the top five in each semifinal were to advance on place and all three Stanford runners were in good position as they approached the finish. Aragon had a slight lead at the bell and bid for the lead coming off the final turn. Donaghu, however, had more to give and Aragon allowed her teammate room on the inside to pass when it appeared Donaghu might get boxed in.

Heymach was able to make a move the outside and was in fourth down the stretch, only to drag her foot and trip. Aragon will make her third NCAA appearance in an 1,500 final, finishing fourth in 2018 and seventh in 2017. This will be Donaghu's second, placing sixth in 2019.

Donaghu and Heymach will run the 5,000 on Saturday, 1 hour and 40 minutes after the 1,500.

Rossum was seventh in her 100 heat in 11.65 and eighth in her 200 heat in 23.69, running from Lane 3 in each race. 

The four-day meet continues with Day Three on Friday. For Stanford, Allie Jones opens the women's heptathlon, Ky Robinson competes in the men's 3,000 steeplechase final, and Charles Hicks in the men's 5,000 final.  


Alexa Rossum in the 200. Photo by Chuck Aragon.

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NCAA Championships
At Hayward Field
Friday's Stanford results

100 semifinals – 21, Alexa Rossum (Stanford) 11.65.
200 semifinals – 21, Alexa Rossum (Stanford) 23.69.
1,500 semifinals – 11, Ella Donaghu (Stanford) 4:13.89q; 14, Christina Aragon (Stanford) 4:14.52q; 24, Julia Heymach (Stanford) 4:24.82.
Javelin final – 1, Marie-Therese Obst (Georgia) 195-10 (59.69m); 7, Virginia Miller (Stanford) 178-9 (54.49m) (PB; No. 4 Stanford AT).
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Stanford's Schedule

Noon: Women's heptathlon 100 hurdles – Sec.3: Allie Jones.
1 p.m.: Women's heptathlon high jump – Fl.1: Allie Jones.
3 p.m.: Women's heptathlon shot put – Fl.2: Allie Jones. 
5:24 p.m.: Men's 3,000 steeplechase final – Ky Robinson.
6:43 p.m.: Women's heptathlon 200 – Sec.1: Allie Jones. 
6:55 p.m.: Men's 5,000 final – Charles Hicks.
11 a.m.: Women's heptathlon long jump – Fl.2: Allie Jones. 
12:15 p.m.: Women's heptathlon javelin –Fl.2: Allie Jones. 
3:11 p.m.: Women's 1,500 final – Christina Aragon, Ella Donaghu.
4:43 p.m.: Women's heptathlon 800 – Allie Jones. 
4:55 p.m.: Women's 5,000 final – Ella Donaghu, Julia Heymach.