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May 15, 2006

The Virginia women finished second in the prestigious ECAC Championships, thanks to personal best shot put performance from Billie Jo Grant and a pair of third-place finishes in the relays on the final day (May 14). The Cavaliers were the top-scoring ACC team in the meet, notching 68 points to take second, beating Duke (fifth, 51 points) and Maryland (ninth).

Grant opened up the final round with a toss of 15.44m (50′ 7″), the best throw of her life, bettering her old PR by over .5 meters. It was just enough to edge the runner-up by one centimeter as Grant became just the second student-athlete in Virginia history to notch a shot put toss of greater than 50 feet. She joined fellow thrower Yemi Ayeni in the winner’s circle as both Virginia throwers won a title this weekend.

Erin Crawford, the school record holder in the 400 intermediate hurdles, was the runner-up in that event. Lauren Echko joined the two relays on the medal stand, running the short hurdles with a 14.15. Tomika Ferguson also took third with her jump of 12.45m, leading a 3-8 finish for Virginia as Katie Tershel leapt 12.09m. Ferguson’s leap was actually tied for the second-best in the meet but she took third based on a tiebreaker in which the second-best jumps for each individual are compared.

Talia Wise earned All-East honors in the 100 after finishing sixth in the meet, while Emily Harrison also earned All-East honors with an eighth place finish in the 3K with her 9:49.61, a Virginia best in 2006. Shannon Hawrylo just missed all-East honors despite finishing ninth in Virginia’s fastest time, running a 4:30.97.

The women’s 4×100 team of Ashley Gore, Wise, Tiffany Roberts and Ferguson ran a 4:30.97, while Gore, Roberts, Wise combined with Crawford to run the 4×4, in which Virginia again took the bronze medal.

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