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April 16, 2004

Virginia’s David Sullivan used the energy of an electrifying pole vault competition to set a school record for the second consecutive week as he became only the second Cavalier in school history to clear 17 feet in the pole vault, and the first to perform the feat outdoors en route to a second-place finish at the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Chapel Hill, NC. Teammate Will Christian capitalized on the solid start to the meet by Sullivan to run a sub-30 minute 10K in his first 25-lapper on the track, becoming only the fifth person in school history to dip below 30 minutes for the 10K as he also took home runner-up honors. On the women’s side, first-year Erin Crawford took almost a second-and-a-half off her PR to run the 400 intermediate hurdles in 58.65 and finish as the top qualifier for the finals in that event.

With four competitors left in the men’s pole vault at 16′ 4.75″, Sulllivan cleared 16′ 8.75″ on his second jump to briefly take the lead. With the bar raised to a school-record height of 17′ .75″, eventual champion Noah Cosby from Carolina cleared it on his first attempt. Sullivan responded with a clearance on his second attempt while the other two competitors failed to clear 17 feet, leaving Sullivan and Crosby alone to battle for the gold. When neither athlete was able to clear the next height, Crosby won on the tiebreaker (attempts at the cleared height) and Sullivan had to settle for the silver despite setting a school record for the second consecutive week.

In the 10K, the final event of the evening, Christian and FSU’s Joep Tigchelaar were part of a pack of runners over the first three miles before Tigchelaar made a move to shake the rest of the pack. Christian responded, running with the Dutchman for the second half of the race. With just a mile to go, Tigchelaar made another move to put some pace between himself and Christian, but Christian hung tight and finished just five seconds behind the first-place finisher in 29:55.47 as the first American across the line. Christian becomes only the fifth Cavalier in school history to run a sub-30 10K in school history and moves into #4 all-time on the performance chart at UVa.

Christian’s performance was the final act of an evening in which a number of Cavaliers hit personal bests to qualify for the finals tomorrow, including first-year Grady Sullivan, whose three-second PR in the 1500 moved him in to the final of that event, along with fellow first-year Alex Tatu. Ryan Neuhart also ran a personal best time in the steeple, with his 9:13.19 taking fifth while Sullivan PR’ed in the steeple by 17 seconds to take seventh in the finals. McGavock Dunbar, the defending ACC champion in the 800m, qualified for the finals again, winning his heat as he raced from behind to advance to defend his title, running a 1:52.90. Ironically, that was the same time as teammate Jon Britt, who advanced to the final along with Dunbar after beating his previous best 800 by a second.

Kellen Blassingame, the school record holder in the 400, missed his own record by .04 as he qualified for the 400 finals with a 46.80. He will be joined in the finals by teammate Jason Young, who ran a PR 47.45 to advance to the competition tomorrow. Herb Reid will also run again tomorrow after qualifying for the finals of the 110 hurdles.

On the women’s side, Crawford smashed her own personal best by 1.23 in the 400 hurdles, running below 60 seconds for the first time in her career and moving up to #3 all-time at Virginia as only the sixth woman in school history to break the minute barrier. She is the top qualifier in that event.

Caroline Harvey will also compete in the finals tomorrow after advancing in the 100m. Earlier in the day she took fourth in the long jumpwith a five-inch PR of 19′ 11″, which she hit on her last jump. After setting a personal best 19′ 7″ in the preliminaries, all three of Harvey’s jumps were farther than that in the finals, qualifying her for the NCAA regional meet.

Meggie Schuelke tied her own personal best with a leap of 5′ 9.25″ in the high jump and took second in her first ACC Outdoor meet while teammate Rachel Marks took sixth with a 5′ 7″. Sharon O’Connor qualified for the 1500 final with a season-best time of 4:27.53, which also qualified her for the NCAA Regional meet. Teammate Shannon Hawrylo missed the finals by .13 despite running 11 seconds faster than her previous best this season. Melanie Matthews scored in the steeple with the Cavaliers’ top time this season, 10:49.00.

Full results for Virginia are below:

WOMEN: 100m: Harvey, 12.11q; Tomika Ferguson, 12.53; 200m: Ashley Gore, 25.61; 400m: Tiffany Roberts, 57.56; Gore, 58.43; Morgan Cephas, 59.62; 800m: Huma Husain, 2:17.23; 1500m: O’Connor, 4:27.53q; Hawrylo, 4:32.10; 10K: Cheryl Carr, 36:37.95; Kelly Behan, 37:09.23; 100HH: Janine Holman, 15.10; 400IH: Crawford, 58.56q; Holman, 1:07.66; Steeple: Matthews, 10:49.00; Janine Ricci, 11:11.79; HJ: Schuelke, 5′ 9.25″, 2nd; Marks, 5′ 7″, 6th; PV: Lauren Taggart, 11′ 5.75″ Kathryn Pettine, 10′ 11.75″ Alicia LaRoche, 10′ 11.75″ LJ: Harvey, 19′ 11″, 4th.

MEN: 100m: Shadion Buckley, 11.30; 200m: Blassingame, 21.46; Young, 21.78; Isi Azeke, 22.48; Kevin Carson, 23.07; 400m: Blassingame, 46.80q; Young, 47.45q; Eric Schulman, 49.78; Carson, 51.61; 800m: Dunbar, 1:52.90q; Britt, 1:52.90q; Zach Davis, 1:54.05; Matt Antunes, 1:54.11; 1500m: Sullivan, 3:51.83q; Tatu, 3:56.06q; Neuhart, 3:57.67; Walt Kingsbery, 4:01.02; 10K; Christian, 29:55.47, 2nd; Matt Gutridge, 31:58.67; 110HH: Reid, 14.69q; Gemayel Hazard, 1.79; Devin Canaday, 15.12; Scott Robinson, 15.22; 400IH: Reid, 55.27; Canaday, 56.92; Steeple: Neuhart, 9:13.19, 5th; G. Sullivan, 9:21.08, 7th; PV: D Sullivan, 17′ .75″, 2nd, SR; Greg Blair, 15′ 3″ LJ: Buckley, 22′ 3.5″ Azeke, 21′ 11″ Canaday, 21′ 4.75″

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