Ten MO Women-11 Entries Qualify for NCAA DI OTF Nationals

Taiya Shelby, Sr. Vanderbilt, 400 

Kansas City, MO. Park Hill High School

Former Park Hill 400-800-meter star Taiya Shelby is capping her career with a 4th NCAA Championship Meet (3 outdoors, 1 indoors). The star Commodore one-lapper will look to improve on her best 12th-place outdoor finish and 10th best overall finish. 

Shelby ran a seasons best of 51.43 at the SEC championships, which puts her 16th on the season list. That includes athletes that did and did not qualify for nationals. 

Paige Magee, Jr. Iowa, 100-Hurdles, 400-Hurdles
Columbia, MO. Battle High School

Paige Magee ran to 2nd, 4th, and 6th-place state finishes at the one-day 2019 Class 5 State Track and Field meet on her home track at Battle High School after a tornado separated and shrunk the normal two-day affair. The coronavirus knocked out her senior season of 2020. 

After graduation, Magee headed north to the University of Iowa to compete for former World Class 400-meter hurdler Joey Woody. Magee has continued to improve on the track and she's making her 2nd straight NCAA Championships appearance in Austin. 

Last year, Magee and her teammates ran to a 14th-place 4x100 finish while individually she placed 23rd to cap her sophomore campaign with a 2nd and Honorable Mention All-American honors. 

This year, Magee has qualified for the meet in both of the hurdle races. She ran to a Big 10 runner-up finish in the 100 hurdles in a personal best of 12.90, breaking the 13-second barrier for the first time. At the West Preliminary Champs, she dipped below 13 again, taking 5th to qualify for nationals in 12.93. 

In the 400-hurdles, Magee also ran to a 2nd-place finish in the 400 hurdles in 56.97. She followed that up with a personal best in the West Prelims 56.62 to place 8th and add a second nationals entry. 

Magee won't have a lot of recovery time. She's scheduled to race the 100-hurdles prelims at 8:32 p.m. Thursday while the second heat of the 400-hurdles prelims follow just after 9:30.

Tyra Wilson, 3rd-year/So. Florida State, 4x100
Columbia, MO. Rock Bridge High School

Like Magee, Tyra Wilson was a star at the one-day 2019 Class 5 state track and field meet. As a Rock Bridge freshman in 2018, Wilson won the 300-meter hurdles in 42.94. A year later, she captured the 300 title again (42.79) while also claiming the 100H (13.70) and the triple jump (39-5.5/12.03m). Wilson also added a 3rd-place 200-meter dash finish in 24.47, her 5th race of he one-day meet. 

The Coronavirus knocked out her junior campaign in 2020 and Wilson finish high school early to get her college career started early at Texas. Wilson competed for the Longhorns for the first time in 2022 then transferred last summer to Florida State. 

Wilson is an alternate on the Seminoles 4x100 squad.

Samantha Kunza, Jr. Alabama, Hammer throw

O' Fallon, MO. Timberland High School

Samantha Kunza competed for Timberland High School as a freshman before focusing on the weight and hammer throws and competing in the winter and summer seasons. 

After 21st, and 17th-place finishes the last two years at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships, Kunza matcher her brother's resume this year, qualifying for her 3rd Preliminary Championship. Patrick Kunza was a 3-time qualifying in the event at Mizzou. Little sister Samantha did Patrick one better though. 

At the East Preliminary in Jacksonville, Florida two weeks ago, Kunza placed 10th in the hammer with a toss of 62.62m/205-5 to earn a nationals berth. Kunza owns a personal record of 65.33m/214-4 from April, which puts her 18th on the national season performance list.

Kunza continues a legacy of NCAA qualifying hammer thrower women from Missouri. The number of Show-Me State qualifiers and trophy winners is too numerous to count over the last 15 years. 

Kaia Harris, Graduate Sudent/Jr. Missouri, Discus

West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue

Kaia Harris placed 13th in the discus in 2022 for Purdue. She'll look to improve on that for Coach Robert Weir and Mizzou. The Indiana native didn't have to go far after high school graduation for college. She stayed in her hometown to attend Purdue. 

This year for the Tigers, Harris threw a personal record of 57.52m/188-8 to place 4th at the SEC Championships. That mark puts her 16th on the national performance list of all division I ladies, those that qualified for NCAAs and those who didn't.