Cavaliers Look to Defend Titles at ACC Meet
April 15, 2004
The Cavaliers are headed to the ACC Championships, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 16-17 in Chapel Hill, NC, hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill. Virginia returns a number of former and defending ACC Champions as well as a host of athletes who rank among the ACC’s top peformers in their respective events and will look to not only finish in the upper echelon of the conference but also qualify athletes for the NCAA Regional meet.
The women have a number of athlete who are currently ranked in the top eight in the ACC heading into the conference meet, led by Inge Jorgensen, who leads the ACC in the javelin. Jorgensen not only leads the ACC but also the nation in the javelin going into the ACC meet. She has been plagued by injuries in the past, but she is now healthy and can reclaim the ACC title she held for two years before being beset by injuries. Joining Jorgensen in the javelin will be Anne Bobiak and Sarah Convery. All three are among the ACC’s best this season in the javelin. Bobiak won this event last year and hopes to repeat, while Convery placed seventh.
Caroline Harvey placed fourth in the long jump during the ACC Indoor Championships and sixth in last year’s ACC Outdoor Championships. She will also compete in the 100 meter dash. Tomika Ferguson will join Harvey in the 100m and will also add the triple jump to her agenda. Ashley Gore, Tiffany Roberts, and Morgan Cephas will run the 400m. Both Erin Crawford and Janine Holman will run the 400m hurdles, an event in which Crawford has an ACC top time this season. Holman will also run the 100m hurdles.
High jumpers Rachel Marks and Meggie Schuelke have been pushing themselves and each other all season. In the ACC Indoor Championships, the duo had a 2-3 finish. They will both try to score big points for the Cavaliers again in this event. Marks will also participate in the triple jump. Lauren Taggart, Kathryn Pettine, and Alicia LaRoche will look to have a big impact in the pole vault. Taggart placed fourth in ACC Indoor Championships and has already improved since the indoor season.
NCAA steeple qualifier Melanie Matthews will lead the distance crew as she joins Janine Ricci and Shannon Hawrylo in that event. All three rank in the top 10 in the ACC in the steeple, and Ricci and Matthews have already qualified for the NCAA Regional meet. Ricci will also run the 1500m with Shannon Hawrylo and Sharon O’Connor, who is very close to qualifying for NCAA regionals. Matthews will also run the 5K with Laura Hodges, Kelly Behan, and Cheryl Carr. Carr has turned in an ACC top time this season and will also make her mark in the 10K. Behan will join Carr in the 10K as well as the 5K. First year Huma Husain will run the 800m.
The men are led by David Sullivan, McGavock Dunbar, Jason Young, Kellen Blassingame, and Will Christian. Last week Sullivan electrified the home crowd as he set the UVa outdoor record in the pole vault and he leads the ACC with his 16′ 11″ performance this season. He also ranks in the top ten in the ACC in the high jump. Chris Clementson will join Sullivan in the high jump, while Greg Blair will participate in the pole vault with Sullivan.
Dunbar is the defending ACC Champion in the 800m run and placed third in this year’s ACC Indoor Championships. Dunbar’s time has improved since the indoor season and he now leads the ACC in the 800m this season, as well as ranking ninth all-time at Virginia in the two-lapper. Zach Davis, who also has an ACC top-10 time this season, Jon Britt, and Matt Antunes will join Dunbar in the 800m
Kellen Blassingame, the UVa record-holder in the 400, will lead the short sprinters. He looks to build on a fourth-place finish at the indoor meet as he is ranked second in the ACC going into the meet. Blassingame will double in the 200 along with Jason Young, who should fare well in both events as well. Both of his times are among the ACC’s best this season. Joining Young and Blassingame in the 400m will be Eric Schulman and Kevin Carson. Shadion Buckley, Carson, and Isi Azeke will join Young and Blassingame in the 200m. Buckley will also run the 100m dash.
Will Christian will go the distance and double up on the 5K and 10K this weekend. At the ACC Indoor Championships this year, Christian took fourth in the 5K. He is among the ACC’s best in the 5K this season and led the men’s cross country team to the NCAA meet over the 10K distance. Matt Gutridge will join Christian in both events.
First-year Alex Tatu has one of the ACC’s top times in the 1500 and will run in that event along with Walton Kingsbery, Grady Sullivan and Ryan Neuhart. Sullivan and Neuhard will double in the 1500m and the 3000m steeplechase.
The 110m hurdles will feature Isi Azeke, Devin Canaday, Herb Reid, Gemayel Hazard, and Scott Robinson. Canaday and Reid will also run the 400m hurdles. Azeke, Buckley, and Canaday will all participate in the long jump. Walker Anderson will anchor the weight events as he will compete in the shot put and the hammer throw.