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Virginia men’s and women’s track and field win several individual titles at ACC Championships

The Cavalier men and women both finished third overall at the meet

<p>Knight and Foster both won their respective ACC titles with performances on the third day of the meet — performances that broke their own school records.&nbsp;</p>

Knight and Foster both won their respective ACC titles with performances on the third day of the meet — performances that broke their own school records. 

Day one

Virginia’s opening day at the ACC Championship meet was highlighted by the performance of sophomore Jada Seaman. Seaman took the individual crown in the long jump in dramatic fashion. Her first attempt saw her set a personal best of 6.40 meters (21’ 0”) before being surpassed by senior Bria Matthews from Georgia Tech. On her sixth and final attempt, Seaman took the lead back for good with an incredible jump of 6.56 meters (21’ 6.25”). This not only improved on her freshman record but was also the second-best performance in school history and a meet record.

Seaman’s day was not yet finished, however, as she went on to qualify for the 200-meter finals with a time of 23.54. This was also an improvement on one of her freshman records, as well as being enough to place her at sixth on the school’s all time performance list.

The other individual title of the day was won for the Cavaliers by sophomore Ethan Dabbs in the javelin. Dabbs’ winning throw came in at 71.45 meters (234’ 5”) on his third attempt. This was a season-best performance for him after this being just the second time all season that Dabbs has competed in this event.

Day two

Friday’s action for Virginia was highlighted by sophomore Owayne Owens and his performance in the triple jump. Owens gave the Cavaliers their third individual ACC title of the meet with a best leap of 15.97 meters. This was his second ACC Championship of the school year after he previously won the triple jump at the indoor track ACC Championships.

The other major highlight of the day came from graduate student Michaela Meyer in the 800-meter prelims. She set a facility record with her winning time of 2:01.89 and earned herself a spot in the finals on Saturday.

Virginia also had several athletes pick up All-ACC honors on the second day of competition. For the men, freshman Claudio Romero took sixth place in the shot put with an effort of 18.10 meters (59’ 4.75”). Freshman Derek Johnson was also able to finish fourth in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:36.86.

On the women’s side, senior Kiera Bothwell finished sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a personal best time of 10:03.88. Freshman Maria Deaviz took fourth place in the shot put with a throw of 16.42 meters (53’ 10.5”) while junior Alix Still wrapped up her heptathlon in sixth place. Finally, senior Khyasia Caldwell was able to claim sixth place in the triple jump with an effort of 12.81 meters (42’ 0.5”).

Day three

The Cavaliers saved their most impressive day for last, picking up four individual ACC titles on the third day of competition.

Graduate student Andrenette Knight repeated as an ACC Champion in the 400-meter hurdles. She put on a show, with an incredible time of 55.75 seconds. She broke the facility record as well as her own school record with this time that holds as the second-fastest time in the country this season. Knight went on to score a few more points for Virginia with a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 13.38 seconds.

Another Cavalier to repeat as an ACC Champion was Brenton Foster, who beat his own school record in the high jump with an effort of 2.27 meters (7’ 5.25”). Foster became the first athlete in school history to win two ACC titles in this event.

After competing in the shot put the day before, Romero continued his stellar season with an ACC title in the discus. He lost the lead in the first round and would not get it back until the sixth and final round when Romero made his winning throw of 61.21 meters (200’ 10”).

Meyer claimed Virginia’s fourth individual conference title of the day in the 1500 meters. She crossed the finish line in 4:09.78, setting a school record, facility record and an ACC meet record. She also raced in the 800 meters later in the day and finished in third place with a time of 2:01.52, another school record.

Vin Lananna, director of track and field and cross country and associate athletics director for administration, was incredibly proud of his team’s progress throughout the season.

“The student-athletes really stepped up in every event area,” Lananna said. “This is a tough conference and I am very pleased that we are building a true championship team.”

Next, the Cavaliers will compete in the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville, Fla. from May 26 through May 29.