Track and Field thrives at Virginia Challenge

Men win five events, Lavorgna passes 7,000 points in decathlon


Senior Christian Lavorgna surpassed 7,000 career points in the decathlon in his final meet at Lannigan Field.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

This past weekend, 62 teams and over 1,200 athletes gathered in Charlottesville to participate in the Virginia Challenge — one of the most competitive meets of the season. That didn’t deter the Virginia outdoor track and field teams, though. The Cavaliers embraced the competition and their tenacious attitude led to another successful meet for the teams.

On the women’s side, athletes of all ages shone under the lights of Lannigan Field. Two of these athletes were redshirt freshman Mia Barron and junior Cleo Boyd. Barron finished fifth in the long jump with a mark of 6.22 meters. Meanwhile, Boyd placed sixth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:09.23. These finishes rank eighth and fifth on the program’s all-time lists, respectively.

“[These finishes show] how well people progress in our program as they go on and how much better they get [versus] when they get there,” Virginia coach Bryan Fetzer said.

Meanwhile, the No. 4 Virginia men continued carrying their momentum Friday and Saturday. Junior Henry Wynne — the 2016 national indoor champion in the mile — continued his winning fashion and claimed a victory in the 1,500 meters. Posting a time of 3:38.05, Wynne broke the program record in the event and currently holds the best time in the country.

Additionally, junior Filip Mihaljevic had a huge meet for the Cavaliers. On the first day of competition, Mihaljevic won the discus throw. Then, on the following day, Bosnia and Herzegovina native won the shot put competition.

Sophomore Cam Collins and junior Adam Visokay also scored victories for the Cavaliers, winning the decathlon and the 10,000 meters, respectively. In total, the men’s teams won five events.

“They just continue to get better each and every week,” Fetzer said. “I’m so excited to get down to Tallahassee, I can hardly stand it.”

Not only was this meet significant because of its competitiveness, but it also was the final home meet for Virginia seniors. For Fetzer, it was a sentimental meet,.

“It’s always emotional [to send off seniors],” Fetzer said. “They’re going to be missed, and they’ve set a great foundation for years to come for this program.”

For senior Christian Lavorgna, this meet allowed him to accomplish something he had been working on throughout his entire college career — passing 7,000 points in the decathlon.

In a decathlon, athletes compete in 10 separate events. Depending how they do in each event, they are awarded a certain amount of points. With the completion of his last event, Lavorgna posted 7,001 points — just narrowly accomplishing his goal.

“I’ve been chasing that 7,000 number for pretty much my whole career,” Lavorgna said. “To finally be able to do that at my last home meet was pretty special.”

Fetzer said that Lavorgna deserves this magical ending to his final track meet at Lannigan Field.

“It’s just a testament to how far he’s come over the last four years,” Fetzer said. “He embodies what we look for in a leader and in a student athlete.”

For Lavorgna, getting to celebrate this accomplishment with his team at home made it all the more special, he said.

“We have one of those teams where everyone is friends with everybody,” Lavorgna said. “When somebody steps on the track to hit one of their goals, everybody is backing them up.”

While he reached his own personal goal, Lavorgna has one more goal for his college career — helping his team to capture a conference title.

“Personally I have one more goal to hit, and that is a team title at the ACC Championships,” Lavorgna said.

Next week, select members of the Virginia outdoor track and field teams will compete at the Highlander Invitational in Radford, Va. Then, from May 13-15, the teams will head to Tallahassee, Fla. to compete in the ACC Championships.

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