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The Virginia men’s and women’s 4x800m teams swept the titles at the Virginia Tech Invitational held in Blacksburg on Saturday (Jan 14) while both distance medley teams finished in the top six as the Cavaliers kicked off the 2006 Track and Field schedule. Virginia’s Sara Casscells, Erin Crawford, Eryn Correa and Danielle Light combined to run a 9:13.98, taking home first place honors. Not to be outdone, the men’s team of Michael Hagos, Jordan Orr, Sam Fletcher and Danny Howick also took home first, running a 7:57.22. Hagos, Howick and Fletcher ran with Stephen Hiltner to take third in the DMR, while Casscells, Correa and Light teamed with Jackie Bailey to finish sixth overall in the DMR. Casscells, Correa and Light are all first-years.

The Cavaliers had a number of athletes finish with personal best marks, including three in the men’s long jump as Isi Azeke, Devin Canaday, and Robert Assibey each started off 2006 with a best-ever mark. Both first-year male shotputters hit 50 feet, while Billie Jo Grant finished fifth in the shot put with a 48′ 3.50″. Robert Rankin took fifth overall with his 52′ 1.75″ and Yemi Ayeni finished eighth with his 50′ 2″ both men his personal-best marks. First-year Talia Wise finished seventh overall in the 60m dash, while Reuben Jones and Tyler Hendry both qualified for the semifinals at that distance. Azeke also hit a personal-best mark in the 60m hurdles, as he and Devin Canaday both qualified for the semifinals in that event, with Canaday recording his best time in the 60m hurdles as well.

School record holder David Sullivan finished fourth overall in the pole vault and then took sixth in the high jump. Teammate David Lewis also hit a personal best mark in the pole vault in the meet as well. Tomika Ferguson took home the bronze in the triple jump with a 40′ 11.50″ while Rachel Marks was sixth in the high jump with a 5′ 4.5″. Ashley Gore took seventh overall with her 1:13.81 in the 500m

The Virginia track and field teams return to action next Friday (Jan. 20) at the Niswonger Invitational in Johnson City, Tenn.

Full results as follows: WOMEN: 60m: Wise, 7.62p, 7th; Tomika Ferguson,7.81p; Tiffany Roberts, 7.96; Lauren Echko, 8.06; 200m: Wise, 24.81; Ashley Gore, 25.33; Crawford, 25.50; Echko, 27.42; 300m: Roberts, 40.58; 400m: Keshia Ashe, 1:01.66; 500m: Gore, 1:13.81, 7th; 60m Hurdles: Echko, 8.98; Bailey, 9.07; Ashe, 9.15p; Briana Smith, 9.51; Marks, 9.54; SP: Grant, 48′ 3.50″, 5th; Alexa Manning, 39′ 11.25″ Bianca Debartolo, 38′ 9″ HJ: Marks, 5′ 4.5″, 6th; PV: Kathryn Pettine, 10′ 11.75″ Alicia LaRoche, 10′ 6″ TJ: Ferguson, 40′ 11.50″, 3rd; 4x800m: 9:13.98, 1st; 4x400m: 3rd, 3:49.47; DMR: 12:21.11, 6th

MEN: 60m: Jones, 6.97p; Hendry, 6.97p; Azeke, 7.14; Kevin Carson, 7.20; Sullivan, 7.24; Canaday, 7.24; 200m: Jones, 22.44; Hendry, 23.42; Carson, 23.70; 300m: Carson, 36.84; 1000m: Jordan Orr, 2:31.43; James Erickson, 2:42.37; Mile: Erickson, 4:23.01; 60m Hurdles: Azeke, 8.16; Canaday, 8.26; Hiltner, 8.91; Lewis, 9.12; HJ: 6′ 6.25″ PV: Sullivan, 16′ 8.75″, 4th; Lewis, 15′ 9″ Stephen Thompson, 14′ 3.25″ Jeff McClurg, 14′ 3.25″ SP: Rankin, 52′ 1.75″, 5th; Ayeni, 50′ 2″, 8th; LJ: Azeke, 23′ 3.5″ Canaday, 22′ 8.50″ Assibey, 22′ 7.75″ TJ: Shadion Buckley, 46′ 11.75″ 4x400m: 3:25.88; 4x800m: 7:57.22, 1st; DMR: 10:27.17;

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