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Feb. 18, 2006

Virginia’s Tomika Ferguson jumped a personal best 42′ 7.5″ in the triple jump to take home first place honors at the Virginia Tech Challenge, leading a strong contingent of Cavaliers as they prepared for the ACC Indoor Championships, which will take place next week. Teammates Lauren Echko, Jackie Bailey and Isi Azeke qualified for the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, while Tiffany Roberts and Reuben Jones qualified for the finals of the 60-meter dash. Matt Gutridge was also a first-place finisher today as he ran a 14:54.45 to win the men’s 5K.

Ferguson’s leap moved her to the No. 2 performer all-time indoors in the triple in school history; she had a wind-aided jump of 42′ 11″ last year outdoors. Katie Tershel finished seventh with her 38′ 1.5″, a season best, and Rachel Marks had a personal-best 37′ 7.25″.

Echko’s time of 8.63 moved her to the No. 3 spot all-time in Virginia history and moves her into the top-10 of the ACC rankings. She will be joined in the final by Jackie Bailey, who also set a personal best in the semi-finals with her 8.99. Isi Azeke also advanced to Saturday’s final in the 60-meter hurdles. Jones will also run in the finals on Saturday as he advanced in the 60-meter dash, running a 6.97 in the semifinals.

Gutridge led a 1-4 finish in the men’s 5K as Matt Gambale ran a 15:24.89 to take fourth place overall. Jordan Orr finished third in the 500 with his 1:04.50 while Mike Hagos took fourth in the 1000m with his 2:30.17. Sara Casscells led just nipped teammate Lauretta Dezubay in the 1000m, with Casscells finishing fifth with a 2:56.22 and Dezubay taking seventh with her 2:58.46.

Alexa Manning hit a personal best in the weight throw with her 52′ 2.50″, which moves her into the No. 5 position all-time in school history. Coincidentally she also finished fifth in the meet today. Ashley Gore was the runner-up in the 300m, running a team-leading 39.02 in the meet today.The second day of competition takes place on Saturday, Feb. 18 in Blacksburg.

WOMEN’S RESULTS: 60m: Roberts, 7.70Q; Talia Wise, 7.74p; Ferguson, 7.81p; 300m: Gore, 39.02, 2nd, Erin Crawford, 40.36, 7th; 1000m: Casscells, 2:56.22, 5th; Dezubay, 2:58.46, 7th; Eryn Correa, 3:01.90; Shannon Hawrylo, 3:06.08; 60mH: Echko, 8.63Q, Bailey, 8.99Q, Keshia Ashe, 9.03; Marks, 9.35, Briana Smith, 9.42; WT: Manning, 15.91m, 6th; TJ: Ferguson, 12.99m, 1st; Tershel, 11.62m, 7th; Marks, 11.46m

MEN’S RESULTS: 60m: Jones, 6.97Q; Hendry, 7.04p; Carson, 7.24; Shadion Buckley, 7.26; Robert Assibey, 7.28; 500m: Orr, 1:04.50, 3rd; 1000m: Hagos, 2:30.17, 4th; 5000m: Gutridge, 14:54.45, 1st; Gambale, 15:24.89, 4th; 60mH: Azeke, 8.24Q; Lewis, 9.18; TJ: Buckley, 14.14m; Assibey, 13.47m;

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