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Outdoor track and field continued to rewrite the record books at the Virginia Challenge

The Cavaliers continued their phenomenal season by toppling more records in their penultimate home meet of the season

<p>Foster was one of many Cavaliers to set precedence over the weekend in their respective events.</p>

Foster was one of many Cavaliers to set precedence over the weekend in their respective events.

Day one

One of the biggest storylines of the season for Virginia track and field has been redshirt freshman Claudio Romero, who broke the school record in the discus competition last Friday with a throw of 64.39 meters (211’ 3”). This was also enough for Romero to win the event and set a new meet record.

This was not the only school record set that day, as graduate student Michaela Meyer ran the 1500 meters in 4:11.62, which stands as the fastest time in the country by a collegiate runner this season. This is just the latest accolade in a phenomenal season for Meyer, as she already set the school record for the 800 meters earlier this season.

A few other Cavaliers picked up wins in their respective events over the course of the day. Senior Jordan Willis took top honors in the 400-meter with a time of 46.23, while freshman Kayla Bonnick won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.63.

Virginia racked up personal bests on the first day of the meet, as well. Sophomore Riley Larsen set a personal best in the pole vault, clearing 3.71 meters (12’ 2”). Her teammate, freshman Trina Barcarola, was also able to clear that height and clock her individual best.

Freshman Anzhelika Parenchuk had her best time in the 400-meter event — clocking in at 55.59. Meanwhile, graduate student Justice Dixon and senior Tavares Kelly both set personal bests in the 100-meter, with Dixon running 10.84 and Kelly finishing in 11.04. 

The day full of personal records was rounded out by freshman Coco Holliday’s performance of 18:02.43 in the 5000 meters, graduate student Randy Neish’s personal best of 3:44.34 in the 1500 meters and sophomore Jada Seaman’s second-place jump — the longest in her career — with 6.26 meters (20’ 6.5”).

Day two

The second day of the Virginia Challenge saw Meyer take down her own school record in the 800-meter that she had set earlier this season. She won the event with ease in 2:01.97, also setting a meet record and facility record for Lannigan Field.

Graduate student Brenton Foster also improved on his own school record in the high jump. He set a meet and facility record as well with a leap of 2.24 meters (7’ 4.25”). This stands as the fourth-best jump in the country so far. Along with Foster’s performance, the Cavaliers performed well in a wide variety of field events.

Junior Owayne Owens won the triple jump after clearing 16.45 meters (53’ 11.75”), while junior Alix Still finished off the heptathlon that she had begun the previous day with wins in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump to capture the event title. Her final score of 5,371 points puts her at fifth on the school’s all-time performance list.

In the women’s high jump, junior Rebecca Hawkins matched her personal record at 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) to finish second. The triple jump saw junior Zoe Rice set a personal best with a jump of 12.79 meters (41’ 11.5”) to take third, right behind senior Khyasia Caldwell — who was second with an effort of 13.33 meters (43’ 8.75”). Finishing off the top performances in the field events was freshman Maria Deaviz, who was the runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 16.60 meters (54’ 5.5”).

Back on the track, graduate student Andrenette Knight matched the Virginia school record in the 400-meter hurdles with a winning time of 56.54, which is the third-best time in the nation this season. Seaman also put up a winning performance in the 200-meter dash, crossing the finish line in 23.70.

Seaman would go on to be part of another victorious effort in the women’s 4x100 team, made up of Bonnick, Caldwell and graduate student Anna Jefferson. They were able to cross the finish line with a time of 45.02.

Knight, Seaman and Jefferson would also join up with Parenchuk in the women’s 4x400-meter relay, who finished second with a season-best time of 3:36.44.

On the men’s side, their 4x400 team also finished third, composed of Dixon, senior Brandon Outlaw, freshman Keith Frasier and freshman Conor Murphy. They finished with a time of 3:13.48.

Vin Lananna, director of track and field and cross country and associate athletics director for administration, was excited to see so many records broken.

“I am so pleased with the magnitude of quality performances this weekend,” Lananna said. “It represents great progress in so many areas for our program.”

Next up, the Cavaliers will send a group of athletes to the North Carolina A&T Meet on April 24, looking to continue their incredible season.

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