Taryn Smiley competes at the Tom Botts Invitational hosted by the University of Missouri this spring. (Jesse Scheve/Missouri State University)

Taryn Smiley competes at the Tom Botts Invitational hosted by the University of Missouri this spring. (Jesse Scheve/Missouri State University)

Duncan runner Taryn Smiley reaches NCAA track prelims

Missouri State athlete can qualify for national finals

A new personal best in the 100m at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship launched Duncan runner Taryn Smiley to within a few steps of the national championships.

Smiley, who competes for the Missouri State Bears, is competing this week (May 23-25) in the 2019 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor West Preliminary in Sacramento, California, for a berth at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas next month.

A senior at Missouri State, studying sport and park administration, Smiley qualified for the West Preliminary with a personal best of 11.64 in the 100m at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 10-12. That time, .14 seconds faster than her previous best, was also good enough for all-conference honours and a third-place finish.

The top 12 athletes from each individual event will advance to the NCAA championship on June 5-8.

A graduate of Cowichan Secondary, Smiley had a decorated club and high school career, including a national championship in the U18 women’s 100m in 2014 and a B.C. high school record in the 4x100m the next year. Chicago Bains, one of her teammates on the record-setting 4x100m team, is a junior at Missouri State.