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Feb. 25, 2006

Virginia’s Kellen Blassingame and Tomika Ferguson both smashed the school records and qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships in the process as the Cavaliers concluded competition in the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, held today in Blacksburg, Va. Blassingame’s time of 46.73 smashed his old record of 46.97 and was good enough for second place at the championships. In addition, he hit an NCAA Provisional mark for the quarter. Ferguson jumped 43′ 3.75″ (13.20m), beating the old mark by 3.5″ and also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships. Alex Tatu led a 2-3-4 finish for the Cavaliers in the mile, and later in the afternoon he doubled back to score in the 800m.

Blassingame’s second-place finish in the quarter was his first All-Conference finish indoors and led a strong Virginia corps in the quarter as Ashley Gore finished sixth and Erin Crawford finished eighth for the women. In the short sprints, Virginia finished eighth in the 60m dash on both the men’s and women’s sides as Reuben Jones ran a 6.90 and Talia Wise ran a 7.67. Wise, Gore, Crawford, and Tiffany Roberts then combined to take third in the 4x400m relay, missing the school record by less than a second.

Ferguson finished fourth in the triple jump with her school record leap, while teammate Katie Tershel had a season-best leap of 38′ 7″. On the men’s side, Shadion Buckley took seventh with his 46′ 1.5″ (14.06m).

Tatu’s 4:09.00 in the mile led a 2-3-4 finish in the mile, reminiscent of the ACC men’s cross country championships in which the Cavaliers ran 4-5-6-7-8 to win the title. Kevin McHale (4:09.69) and Andrew Jesien (4:09.94) finished less than a second after Tatu as Virginia was the only school to have three scorers in the mile. Later in the afternoon Tatu took eighth in the 800m, behind teammate Jordan Orr who ran 1:51.75 and took fourth.

Billie-Jo Grant set a personal best mark in the shot put, helping her finish fourth with her 15.36m (50′ 4.75″). Alexa Manning also threw a personal best in the shot with her 13.39m (43′ 11.25″). High jumpers Meggie Schuelke (fourth) and Rachel Marks (fifth) both cleared 1.68m (5′ 6″) with Schuelke beating Marks on misses. Stephen Thompson cleared a personal best 15′ 7″ (4.75m) to finish tenth overall.

In the 3K, Emily Harrison ran a personal-best 9:41.46 to take seventh, and in the process became the No. 5 performer all-time in school history. On the men’s side, Jan Foerster ran an 8:19.65 to take fifth in the event. Andrew Dumm ran an 8:26.77 to win the first heat but finished ninth overall, just 1.77 seconds slower than eighth place.

The men finished sixth overall in one of the tightest races in ACC history as just 12 points separated third through seventh. The women finished ninth overall and were just seven points out of seventh.

Women’s results: 60m: Wise, 7.67, 8th; 400m: Gore, 55.59, 6th; Crawford, 55.84, 8th; 3000m: Harrison, 9:41.46, 7th; Dezubay, 10:05.65; Hodges, 10:09.33; 4x400m: 3:40.70, 3rd; HJ: Schuelke, 1.68m, 4th; Marks, 1.68m, 5th; TJ: Ferguson, 13.20m (43′ 3.75″), School Record, 4th; Tershel, 11.76m; SP: Grant, 15.36m (50′ 4.75″), 4th; Manning, 13.39m

Men’s results: 60m: Jones, 6.90m, 8th; 400m: Blassingame, 46.73, School Record, 2nd; 800m: Orr, 1:51.75, 4th; Tatu, 1:55.09, 8th; Mile: Tatu, 4:09.00, 2nd; McHale, 4:09.69, 3rd; Jesien, 4:09.94, 4th; 3000m: Foerster, 8:19.65, 5th; Dumm, 8:26.77; Lindner, 8:37.73; Foster, 8:39.20; 4x400m: 3:19.11; PV: Thompson, 4.75m; McClurg, 4.60m; Lewis, 4.60m; TJ: Buckley, 14.06m, 7th; SP: Yemi Ayeni, 14.05m; Robert Rankin, 13.69m.

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