Virginia track and field faces strong field at Tiger Paw Invite and Iowa State Classic

The Cavaliers come away with a number of big-time individual performances

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Junior Jordan Scott set a Virginia and ACC record in the triple jump at the Tiger Paw Invite Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams split up for the weekend, traveling to Clemson, S.C., for the Tiger Paw Invite and Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Classic. Both two-day competitions featured numerous ranked opponents, including top-5 programs such as Florida State, Florida and Texas A&M. 

Day one of the Tiger Paw Invite featured some superb action on the women’s side. Senior Bridget Guy set another school record in the pole vault, for the second week in a row, at 4.38m. Her first-place performance moves her to seventh nationally in the event. On the track, freshman Halle Hazzard tied her school record time of 7.32 in the 60m dash, placing fifth overall. 

"Today was a successful first day of a loaded meet," assistant coach Mario Wilson said. "Two of our women, Halle [Hazzard] and Bridget [Guy], matched or exceeded the existing school records.”

On the men’s side, sophomore Jordan Willis placed third with a time of 47.48 in the 400m dash at the Tiger Paw Invite. His time ranks fifth in school history. On the second day of the competition, Willis ran a time of 21.69 in the 200m dash, earning a spot as second all-time in school history.

On the field, junior Jordan Scott stole the show by setting a Virginia and an ACC record in the triple jump. His mark of 16.90m got him second place, but more importantly, it was the second-best performance in the nation this season. 

Over to Iowa, senior Nace Plesko threw a career-best of 18.71m in the shot put to win the event. In the high jump, junior Brenton Foster and freshman Trey Causey went 1-2 with jumps of 2.20m and 2.06m.

Closing out the meet for the women, sophomore Brittany Jones threw 15.61m to win her event at the Iowa State Classic. 

"We had some individuals step up big time in various ways," Director of Track and Field Bryan Fetzer said. "Their confidence should be high. However, we have some individuals that need to learn to compete when it counts and not make excuses. All correctable things, but it needs to take place for us to reach the heights the team wants to achieve this year."

With the ACC Championships in two weeks, these two meets were used as checkpoints to compare the Cavaliers’ progress against some stiff competition.

"We're making progress each week and we can never lose sight of that," Fetzer said. "We have to make a few minor corrections and adjustments, and we will be ready for the ACC Indoor Championships."

Next up, Virginia travels for the sixth straight week to compete this Saturday at the JDL DMR Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.,and the Alex Wilson Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind.

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