Virginia track and field traveled to Raleigh, N.C. last week to compete in the Raleigh Relays. Beginning Thursday and concluding Saturday, the three-day meet welcomed dozens of schools from across the country for what was by far the most competitive event the Cavaliers took part in this season.
Despite the challenge, Virginia assured that their efforts were well worth the trip by racking up a barrage of impressive times on their way to an array of strong results, including two first-place finishes.
For the first running event of the day, several Cavaliers graced the track in the men’s 1500-meter finals.
In a field of over 200 competitors, sophomore distance-runner Wes Porter claimed the top spot with a personal-best time of 3:39.73. Porter’s performance not only earned him the victory, but it also placed him second on Virginia’s all-time performance list for the men’s 1500-meter competition.
In the same race, four other Cavaliers placed inside the top 25 while simultaneously setting personal bests. Sophomore distance-runner Conor Murphy ran a 3:41.49 to finish ninth, sophomore distance-runner Yasin Sado completed the race in 3:43.29 to finish 20th, graduate distance-runner Ka’eo Kruse finished 23rd with a time of 3:43.86 and freshman distance-runner Nathan Mountain crossed the line 24th while running a 3:43.90.
Following a triumphant start to the Raleigh Relays for the team, senior distance-runner Rohann Asfaw continued Virginia’s success in the men’s 5000-meter competition. Asfaw completed the race in 13:51.23, good for 14th in an event that hosted 232 total competitors.
Junior sprinter Jada Seaman gave Virginia a strong start to the second day with her performance in the women’s 100-meter event. Seaman’s time of 11.30 seconds garnered her second place in a competition that welcomed over 70 participants. Sophomore sprinter Kayla Bonnick also performed well in the competition, earning 11th place with her time of 11.78 seconds.
A few hours later, senior sprinter Jordan Willis blazed to a sixth-place finish in the men’s 400-meter dash, completing a time of 46.80 seconds. Willis ended just 0.31 seconds behind first-place finisher Elijah Young of North Carolina A&T. Sophomore sprinter Jay Pendarvis crossed the finish line in 23rd in the same competition, completing the event in 48.67 seconds.
In the women’s high jump, senior high-jumper Bex Hawkins leaped 1.75 meters (5’8.75”) to place second for Virginia.
The women’s 1500-meter event also hosted over 200 participants and two Cavaliers placed inside the top 10. Freshman distance-runner Mia Barnett finished the race in 4:16.68 to place sixth, while freshman distance-runner Margot Appleton finished just behind in eighth after crossing the line in 4:17.17.
Senior distance-runner Helena Lindsay finished up the day for Virginia, putting in a personal-best performance in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 10th place and running a 10:20.92.
After an impressive display in the women’s 100-meter dash, Seaman added to her weekend with a victory in the women’s long jump. The junior jumped 6.02 meters (19’9”) to beat the field, while senior jumper Zoe Rice finished eighth with a leap of 5.68 meters (18’7.75”).
In the women’s 800-meter event, three Virginia runners placed within the competition’s top 25 finishers. Sophomore middle-distance-runner Keara Seasholtz earned 15th after running a 2:08.92, with junior middle-distance-runner Alahna Sabbakhan finishing in 2:09.11 to place 17th. Senior distance-runner Sydney Coppolino garnered 22nd with a time of 2:09.68.
Sophomore hurdler Emily Alexandru took home 12th in the women’s 400-meter hurdles following a run of 1:02.47, and freshman sprinter Alex Sherman finished 13th in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.73 seconds.
Seaman appeared yet again in the women’s 200-meter dash along with Bonnick. Seaman placed eighth with a time of 24.34 seconds, while Bonnick ended up 32nd after finishing in 25.12 seconds.
In the men’s 200-meter dash, senior sprinter Jordan Willis picked up seventh place with a 21.27 second race. Pendarvis was close behind, finishing in 18th with a time of 21.63 seconds.
Porter added to his men’s 1500-meter victory by earning seventh in the men’s 800-meter, finishing in 1:51.72. Sophomore middle-distance-runner Liam Bellamy also performed well, placing 22nd with a time of 1:52.42.
The Cavaliers return to competition Thursday when they travel to William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. for the Colonial Relays.