Cavaliers start outdoor season strong at Virginia Cup

Track and field dominates in-state rivals in outdoor debut

Virginia track and field began the outdoor portion of their season Saturday with the Virginia Cup at Lannigan Field. The women’s team went 5-0 against James Madison, Norfolk State, Hampton, Liberty, and Radford while the men’s team went 3-1 with a loss to Liberty.

“I’m absolutely happy,” coach Bryan Fetzer said. “We’ve talked about competing and not working about how fast or how far. They’ve really responded to it, and their mentality was infinitely better than this time last year.”

The Cavaliers began with a feel-good moment in the women’s hammer throw. Senior Logan Clements’ throw of 155’ 4” earned her second place in her first event since missing all of last year with elbow surgery.

Freshman Filip Milhaljevic left a lasting impression in his Virginia debut. Hailing from Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milhaljevic has only been at Virginia since January. He ran away with the men’s discus throw with a throw of 197’ 02” — the second farthest throw in school history. Later in the afternoon, Milhaljevic would also win the shot put by a near 10-foot margin.

“I’m very happy with these results” Milhaljevic said. “I had a lot of energy because I have not competed since September, so I was happy to compete again.”

Both the men’s and women’s distance teams excelled in competition. Freshmen Sarah Sargent and Kendall Cowne took first and second place respectively in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Sargent won the race with a time of 6:59.52 and Cowne crossed the finish line 15 seconds later.

A pack of Cavaliers finished near the top in the women’s 1500 meter run. Redshirt freshman Cleo Boyd won the event in 4:31.19. Freshman Maria Hauger, junior Vanessa Fabrizio, and freshman Sarah Fakler were close behind finishing in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Virginia men swept one through three in the 3000 meter. Freshman Thomas Madden, sophomore Jack St. Marie and sophomore Zach Herriott battled for the top three spots, with Madden winning in a time of 8:35.23

Saturday was a particularly special day for senior Edy Ndem. She finished second in the triple jump clearing 40’ .5”. Later in the meet Ndem would win the long jump with a 19’ 8.75” mark — both career bests.

“Today was really exciting for me,” Ndem said. “The takeoff is the key for me. My run used to be the down side of my jumps, but now I have that fine-tuned.”

Sophomore Peyton Chaney also had a strong showing. She ran an 11.78 in the 100 meter dash in a winning effort, and recorded a 23.91 in the 200 meter to claim second place. Her time in the 100 meter was the eighth fastest in program history, and her 200 meter mark was ninth best in school history.

Junior Ryan Satchell converted a solid indoor season to a strong start in outdoor. He won the men’s triple jump with a leap of 51’ 6.5” — the fourth longest jump in the Cavalier annals.

Senior Abbey Karin concluded the meet with a win in the women’s javelin throw. Karin lead all the way throughout the final round, and recorded the best throw of 149’8”. Freshman Christine Bohan won the women’s shot put with a heave of 47’ 11.75” — the second best effort by a Cavalier freshman.

With only four meets remaining until the ACC Championship, Saturday provided a fantastic opportunity to build momentum into the all-important meet.

“I feel like my results are telling of what’s to come” Ndem said. “Keeping on this trend would be really good for me, but it is still one step at a time.”

Published March 24, 2014 in Sports

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