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Virginia track and field competes in Virginia Tech Invitational over the weekend

The Cavaliers open the season with eight podium finishes

<p>Brittany Jones recorded a career-best throw in the shot put and landed a third-place finish.</p>

Brittany Jones recorded a career-best throw in the shot put and landed a third-place finish.

The Virginia men and women’s track and field teams travelled to Blacksburg, Va. this weekend to run in the Virginia Tech Invitational — the first meet of the 2020 season. The men’s team had five athletes take the podium and the women’s team had three over the two-day meet.

In the women’s unseeded pole vault, freshmen vaulters Maya Maloney and Riley Larson took the top two spots for the Cavaliers, clearing heights of 3.90 meters and 3.70 meters, respectively. Both jumps were high enough to place amongst the top 10 heights in program history. 

As for the men, sophomore Kane Aldrich finished first in the unseeded event with a height of 4.90 meters, while senior Sam Young finished fourth in the seeded pole vault with a height of 4.95 meters.

In the 60-meter event, junior Halle Hazzard and senior Anna Jefferson both ran times of 7.40 seconds, placing fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Virginia women had two top-10 finishes in the 300 meter hurdles from Jefferson and Hazzard again. Jefferson came in second with a time of 38.07, and Hazzard placed sixth with a time of 39.10. For the men, junior Jordan Willis placed third overall with a time of 33.62 and junior Brandon Outlaw placed fifth with a time of 33.96.

Senior Alex Woodley led the Cavalier women in the 60-meter hurdles, running a time of 8.40 to place fourth overall. Senior Andrenette Knight also finished in the top ten, placing seventh in the event with a time of 8.67.

In the men’s triple jump, sophomore Owayne Owens led the way with a jump of 15.54 meters, placing fourth overall in the event. For the Cavalier women, sophomore Zoe Rice had a career best jump of 12.23 meters, earning her a third-place finish.

Sophomore Ayende Watson placed third in the men’s long jump with a jump of 7.11 meters. He was followed by Owens who placed fifth with a jump of 7.01 meters. For the Virginia women, junior Khyasia Caldwell placed second overall with a 6.07 meter opening jump, which was the tenth-best jump in Virginia women’s track and field history.

In the high jump, senior Brenton Foster finished second with a height of 2.15 meters. Sophomore Rebecca Hawkins led the way for the women, clearing 1.67 meters for a fifth-place finish.

Finally, in the shot put, junior Brittany Jones had a career-best throw of 15.97 meters, which led to a third place finish in the event.

Vin Lananna, director of track and field and cross country, was pleased with the teams’ performance in the first meet of the season.

“Great opening meet,” Lananna said. “I am looking forward to consistent improvement from our men and women over the next month.”

The Cavaliers will compete again Jan. 24, returning to Blacksburg for the Hokie Invitational.