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Virginia track and field finds success at the Virginia Open

Cavaliers gain momentum in outdoor debut

<p>Junior distance runner Ethan Zeh placed first in the men's 800 meter event.</p>

Junior distance runner Ethan Zeh placed first in the men's 800 meter event.

Virginia track and field kicked off their 2022 outdoor campaign March 19 at the Virginia Open in Charlottesville, welcoming Liberty to Lannigan Field. A busy Saturday for the Cavaliers came to a close with several personal records and first-place finishes to show for, both on the track and in the field. 

Running

Virginia began the day strong with senior distance runner Rohann Asfaw and sophomore distance runner Jack Eliason each setting personal bests in the men’s 1500 meter. Asfaw won the event with a time of 3:51.58, while Eliason finished in a close second, running a 3:53.01.

In the men’s 100 meter, sophomore sprinter Jay Pendarvis picked up a first-place finish while blazing to his best-ever time of 10.56 seconds. Freshman sprinter Jerlan Fish placed second with a time of 10.94 seconds.

Junior distance runner Ethan Zeh won the men’s 800 meter event with a personal best time of 1:52.44, while junior distance runner Jacob Hunter completed the race in 1:56.13, good for third place. 

The women’s 400 meter hurdles competition saw two Cavaliers compete in the event for the first time. Sophomore hurdles runner Emily Alexandru bested the field by completing the race in 1:01.99, with sophomore middle distance runner Anzhelika Parenchuk finishing in 1:03.76 to earn third.

Several other Virginia athletes won running events Saturday, including senior distance runner Helena Lindsay in the women’s 1500 meter, junior sprinter Alahna Sabbakhan in the women’s 400 meter, senior sprinter Jordan Willis in the men’s 400 meter and graduate distance runner Taylor Jones in the women’s 800 meter. 

Field

The Cavaliers started even stronger in the field events, with the women’s hammer throw beginning the day. Junior thrower Morgan Johnson and freshman thrower Jada Marsh etched their names into the Virginia track and field outdoor record books.

Marsh’s longest throw of 51.42 meters (168’8”) placed second all-time in Virginia women’s outdoor hammer throw history. Johnson managed a throw of 50.18 meters (164’7”) that earned her a tie for fourth all-time in the same category. Marsh and Johnson finished fourth and fifth in the event respectively. 

Virginia placed three competitors inside the top four of the women’s high jump, namely senior Bex Hawkins, senior Alix Still and freshman Carly Tarentino. Hawkins won the event with a jump of 1.73 meters (5’8”) while Still’s leap of 1.65 meters (5’5”) garnered her a second-place finish. Tarentino jumped 1.55 meters (5’1”) to finish fourth.

The Cavaliers also took home a victory in the women’s pole vault by way of sophomore Gabriella Recce, who won the competition with a jump of 3.95 meters (12’11.5”). 

Virginia earned both of the top spots in the women’s long jump, as senior Zoe Rice claimed first by jumping 6.19 meters (20’3.75”) with Still close behind with a leap of 6.17 meters (20’3”).

Graduate Ashley Anumba broke the Virginia women’s discus record with a throw of 56.50 meters (185’4”), running away with first place in the competition. 

Women’s shot put provided Virginia with another victory, this time from sophomore Maria Deaviz’s 16.87 meter (55’4.25”) toss. 

The Cavaliers also picked up first place in the women’s triple jump, with freshman Jordan Hardy emerging from the pack with a 12.26 meter (40’2.75”) jump. 

On the men’s side, Virginia swept the top three in the pole vault. Junior Kyle Mosteller vaulted 4.75 meters (15’7”) for a first-place finish, with senior Kane Aldrich and sophomore Tyler Lynch accruing second and third place, each with vaults of 4.60 meters (15’1”). 

Elsewhere, freshman Thomas Dickinson won the men’s javelin event with a toss of 60.55 meters (198’8”) and junior Claudio Romero scooped first in the men’s discus by throwing 61.05 meters (200’3”). 

In the last men’s field event of the day, senior Dejon Mayo jumped 14.35 meters (47’1”) to win the men’s triple jump competition. 

The Cavaliers return to action March 24 to 26 for the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C. The meet will be televised on ACC Network Extra.

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