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May 13, 2007

The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams both finished second at the prestigious ECAC/IC4A Championships that concluded today at Princeton thanks to NCAA regional qualifying and school-record setting performances by a number of student-athletes. Reuben Jones was victorious in all three events he ran today, taking first in the 100 and 200 and then helping the Cavaliers claim the 4x100m relay crown. Yemi Ayeni, who already set the school record in the discus, continued his phenomenal season with a 58-foot throw in the shot put, becoming the first person in school history to surpass the 58-foot mark. On the women’s side. Erin Crawford won the ECAC title in the 400m intermediate hurdles and helped the 4x400m team qualify for the NCAA regionals with a season-best time.

Jones, who qualified for the NCAA Regional in both the 100 and 200 yesterday, won double individual gold as he ran a 10.60 in the 100 and a 21.22 in the 200. Kellen Blassingame, who holds the school record in the 400, ran a season-best 46.79, just .06 off his school record, to take runner-up honors in that event. These two men then combined with Cedric Peerman and Brian Lee to run a 40.71 in the 4x100m dash. The quartet’s time was just .05 off NCAA qualifying and is .46 off the school record.

Yemi Ayeni unleashed a throw of 58′ .25″ in the shot put and took third in the event; he becomes the first person in school history to toss the shot put over 58 feet and now holds the school record in both the discus and the shot put. He broke the old record, set in 1985, by over eight inches. His discus mark still ranks him in the top-10 in the nation and his shot put marks moves him into the top-10 in the eastern region.

The men finished with 66.50 points, just behind Liberty, who won the IC4A title with 77 points.

On the women’s side, Crawford ran a 57.31 in the intermediates, a season-best for the All-American, and then helped teammates Tiffany Roberts, Ayla Smith, and Talia Wise run a season-best 3:41.37 in the 4x400m relay and qualify for the NCAA regionals en route to a fourth-place finish. Janne’a Bridgeford scored in both the 100m (11.99, 6th) and 200m (24.76, 8th) and Alexa Manning tossed a 45′ 11.25″ in the shot and took seventh. Meghan Briggs took fourth in the javelin, tossing a 142′ 8″.

Tomika Ferguson leapt over 43 feet in the triple jump en route to first-place honors; her mark of 43′ 4.25″ was wind-aided (+3.6 m/s) but gave the Cavaliers 10 team points. She is the first woman in school history to hit the 43-foot mark outdoors.

The women finished second overall with 63 points, behind Georgetown who had 79 points.

FULL RESULTS:Women: 100m: Bridgeford, 11.99, 6th; 200m: Bridgeford, 24.76, 8th; 400IH: Crawford, 57.31, 1st; 4x400m: 3:41.37, 4th; TJ: Ferguson, 43′ 4.25″w, 1st; Tershel, 38′ 4″ SP: Manning, 45′ 11.25″, 7th; Jav: Briggs, 142′ 8″, 4th

Men: 100m: Jones, 10.60, 1st; 200m: Jones, 21.22, 1st; 400m: Blassingame, 46.79, 2nd 1500m: Foerster, 3:46.93, 3rd; Tschirhart, 3:51.58; Jesien, 4:11.65; 4x100m: 40.71, 1st; SP: Ayeni, 58′ .25″

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