BOSTON, Mass. – Kiara Porter was in middle school the last time the VCU women's track & field program sent an athlete to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Nine years later, Porter has become the face of the program after earning a gold medal at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships and All-American status at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Now, the Yorktown, Va. native is taking the Black & Gold back to the NCAA Indoor Championships after posting a school-record time of 52.50 in the 400-meters this past weekend at the Boston University Last Chance meet. That time ranks as the eighth-best time in the country.
"Kiara came into this weekend needing to give the performance of her career to qualify for the indoor championships and that's exactly what she did," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "She helped our team finish the indoor season very strong this past weekend and helped us extend to the NCAA postseason for the first time in nine years."
Porter had been in position to reach the championships all indoor season, but after last weekend's conference championships and high quality meets, she sat 19th in the country, the indoor championships are just the top-16 athletes in each event.
On Sunday, she toed the line in Boston, knowing she would need to PR to move into the top-16. She took control of the race out of the gate and crossed the line two seconds ahead of the next closest runner.
The time punched her ticket for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which are held in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 14th-15th.