EUGENE, Oregon – Junior Kiara Porter of the VCU Track & Field program has a date with history on Friday night in Tracktown USA. She will lace up her spikes with a chance for a national championship on the line.
Porter earned that date on Wednesday night with an eighth place finish in the 400m semifinals at the NCAA Championships. With that top-eight finish, she advances to the 400m finals, set for Friday night at 9 p.m. EST.
"It was an honor running with those girls today and I'm so happy that I made it to the finals on Friday and get another opportunity to represent VCU," Porter said. "Ever since last year at the NCAAs and the disappointing results, I made it my goal to make it back and be an All-American this year and I actually did it. I'm still in shock, but I'm ready to compete."
Her time of 52.06 was third in the second semifinal heat and earned the eighth and final wildcard spot.
"That was the 2nd fastest time of her life and it came at the right time. She worked so hard for this opportunity and I'm so happy for her," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "We will look at the film tonight and make some adjustments at tomorrow's practice. After the NCAA Indoor Championships, I told her we had to put in some work in order to get on the podium at the Outdoor Championships. She put in the work and now things are falling into place.
With her spot in the finals, Porter automatically earns First-Team All-American honors, the first Ram in 15 years to earn such an honor (Maria Elena Calle). It's the third All-American accolade of her career.
Calle owns VCU's highest ever finish at NCAA Championships with a third-place finish in the 3,000-meters in 1999.