Saxons' Hillman, Locker look to make AU track, field history
Alfred University juniors Miasia Hillman (Buffalo, NY/Hutch Tech) and Sean Locker (Corning, NY/Corning-Painted Post West) will compete at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at Ohio Wesleyan University, marking the first time in three decades AU has been represented by both male and female athletes at the national meet.
It was 30 years ago, in 1984, that the Saxons sent three male athletes (Richard Schindelar, pole vault and decathlon; John Walsh, high jump and decathlon; and Jim Smith, 1,500-meter run) and one female (Val Thompson, 100-meter hurdles) to the NCAA outdoor championships.
Hillman will compete in the 100-meter dash and is the first AU female to compete at outdoor nationals since Rebecca Graudons finished 17th in the pole vault at the 2011 championships. Locker will compete in the javelin, marking the first time a Saxon male has gone to the NCAA meet since 2012, when Rich Scott placed 10th in the 400-meter dash.
Miasia Hillman – 100-meter dash
Preliminaries: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23
Finals: 3:15 p.m. Saturday, May 24
Top Seed: Meg Heafy, Wisconsin-La Crosse, 11.80 seconds
Hillman’s Seed Time: 11.99 seconds
Throughout the 2013-14 track and field season, Hillman has solidified her place as the top sprinter all-time at Alfred University. The school record-holder in the indoor 60-meters and 200-meters, Hillman broke her own school marks in the outdoor 100-meter and 200-meter events this spring.
Hillman's seed time for the NCAAs (a school-record 11.99 seconds) is the sixth-fastest time in the nation in the 100-meters. It was set when Hillman won the 100 meters at the ECAC outdoor championship meet May 16.
The ECAC title, Hillman's first, was the latest in an expanding list of accomplishments. She won Empire 8 and New York State indoor titles in the 60-meter dash and was runner-up in the 200 meters at the Empire 8 indoor championships. She would go on to set new school marks in those events at the ECAC indoor meet.
The indoor season was just a primer for what has turned out to be a historic outdoor campaign, during which Hillman has been nearly unbeatable. Since opening the spring season with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter dash at West Chester, she has run that event at six meets and won every time, sweeping the 100-meter titles at the Empire 8, New York State and ECAC outdoor championships. Her performance in the 200 meters has been impressive as well. She won that event at Widener, Muhlenberg and Westminster before taking second at the Empire 8 meet. After winning her first 200-meter title at the state meet, Hillman placed second at Allegheny and third at the ECAC championships.
Hillman is seeking to become just the second NCAA track and field champion in school history, joining 1982 100-meter hurdle champion Thompson.
Sean Locker – Javelin
Finals: 3:15 p.m. Saturday, May 24
Top Seed: Michael Goldstock, Union, 65.60 meters
Locker’s Seed Mark: 59.77 meters
To describe Sean Locker’s performance during the 2014 outdoor season as "breakout" would be an understatement. The junior has seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the top javelin throwers in the region.
Locker had some top-five finishes as a sophomore in 2013, but nothing indicated the dominance he would show a year later. He began the 2013 season with a fifth-place throw of 47.31 meters at the season-opening meet at Muhlenberg, before placing third behind teammate and runner-up Greg Pomarico at the Empire 8 Conference championships. His throw of 50.55 meters at the E8 met was more than nine meters off the winning mark. Locker did not compete at the New York State or ECAC championships.
This year, Locker has enjoyed tremendous success throughout the spring. He opened the season with a personal-best throw of 56.75 meters at West Chester, good for third place. Five days later, at Widener, he earned his first career collegiate win. And on April 19, at the Empire 8 Conference championships at St. John Fisher, Locker turned in a break-through performance. His toss of 59.77 meters won a conference title, at the same time breaking Robert Smith's 44-year-old AU school record.
He followed up his Empire 8 title with a win at Brockport and wins at Brockport and at the New York State outdoor championships (59.14 meters). He was third at Allegheny (56.81) before taking fourth at last weekend's ECAC outdoor championships (57.38). His 59.77-meter seed mark is the 16th-best in the nation this year.
Locker is looking to become just the second men's athlete in AU history to win an NCAA title, joining 1994 110-meter hurdle champ Glenn Clinton.
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