Virginia Announces Addition of 24 Newcomers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Randy Bungard has announced the addition of 24 student-athletes to the Cavaliers’ 2008-09 track and field program.
“This is one of the largest classes we have signed here at UVa,” Bungard said. “We added great depth across the board, signing some young men and women who can step in and help us right away. We have a great mix of state champions, national champions, All-Americans and class record holders in this group.”
For the men’s squad, Chris Aldrich, will join the distance corps. A 2007 Foot Locker Finalist, Aldrich finished runner-up at the Pennsylvania State Championships in cross country as a junior. In the outdoor track state meet, the West Chester Henderson High School graduate finished second in the 3200m. His best mark in the 1600m is 4:16.43, while his top performance in the 3200m was clocked at 9:07.53.
Vincenzo Chiarello is a graduate of Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island, N.Y., and will join the throwers. Chiarello finished fifth in the 2007 NSIC weight throw. His best mark in the event was 61’8”, while he has also thrown the shot put (59’0”) and discus (162’0”).
Steve Franks, from North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pa., took third in the 800m at the Pennsylvania AAA Indoor State Championships as a junior. He was also a member of the 2008 Indoor National Champion 4x800m relay team, as well as a member of the 2008 Outdoor PA State Championship 4x800m relay, which ended the season ranked No. 1 in the U.S. His best finish in the 800m was in a time of 1:53.82.
Sean Keveren was the top returning two-mile runner in the nation for the 2008 track season. A Brentwood High School graduate, Keveren is a two-time cross country state champion in Tennessee and was also the 2007 and 2008 state champion in the 1600m and 3200m races. His personal-bests include 1:54.86 in the 800m, 4:09.95 in the 1600m and 8:55.16 in the two-mile.
As an exchange student at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Va., Matthias Meyer finished second at the 2006 Virginia AA Outdoor State Championships in the triple jump. He also took third at the indoor state meet in the long jump. His best long jump mark is 23’6”, while his best triple jump is 46’9”. Meyer has also raced the 100m (10.91) and the 200m (21.80).
Daniel Plumlee is a long sprinter from St. Mark’s School in Dallas, Texas, who was the 2008 Southwest Preparatory Conference Champion in the 200m. At that same championship meet, he was also a member of the 4x100m and 4x400m championship relay teams. Plumlee finished as runner-up in the 400m dash and has recorded personal-bests of 22.03 in the 200m and 49.48 in the 400m.
Lance Roller is a graduate of Walter Panas H.S., in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., who finished the indoor season ranked sixth nationally in the 600m (1:20.77) and 800m (1:52.41) runs. Roller has also raced the 400m (48.47) and 1500m (4:00.91).
A two-time Foot Locker National Championship Finalist from Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., Sintayehu Taye will join the Cavaliers’ distance crew. Taye finished the mile at the 2007 Nike Indoor Nationals in second place. In addition, he holds the national sophomore class record in the 1000m run (2:29.6), as well as the national freshman class record in the two-mile run (9:16.65). His top finish in the 1600m was clocked at 4:09.69 and his fastest 3200m was in 9:01.68.
Adam Taylor is a Mechanicsville, Va., native who graduated from Lee-Davis High School. Taylor, most recently the runner-up at the Virginia state meet in the discus, will join the throwers. He has thrown 160’8” in the discus and 53’0” in the shot put.
A pole vaulter from Montgomery Bell Academy, Christian Waddey joins the jumpers. Waddey set a new meet record by winning the pole vault at the 2008 Tennessee Division II Outdoor State Championships. His best vault was marked at 15’11”.
A local graduate, Nick Ward from Western Albemarle High School, rounds out the additions to men’s squad. Ward was a two-time Virginia AA Indoor State Champion in the 500m. He was named an Indoor All-American and was a member of the National Champion DMR at the 2008 NIN Championships. His top finish in the 400m was timed at 49.43, while his best 500m time was 1:05.44 and his fastest 800m finish was in 1:57.32.
For the women, a Richmond, Va., native, Kacen Delphin will join the mid-distance and distance crews. A workhorse for Manchester High School, Delphin has raced various events, including the 300m (41.84), 400m (58.56), 500m (1:17.46), 800m (2:17.46) and 1000m (3:07.18). She will run the long sprints and 800m for Virginia.
Avery Faith is a high jumper from Somers High School in Lincolndale, N.Y., who has also raced the 600m. Faith has cleared a height of 5’5”, while her personal-best in the 600m is 1:38.84.
From Walt Whitman High School, Morgane Gay will join the Cavaliers’ cross country and distance squads. Gay is the 2008 Maryland State Champion in the 800m run and was runner-up in the event during the outdoor championships. Her personal-best time is 2:11.58. As a junior, Gay was the 1600m outdoor state champion, while her personal-best in the distance race is 4:55.00. She has also finished a cross country race in 18:09.
Meagan Gillespie, a graduate of the Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a member of the 2008 Indoor National Champion 4x200m relay team. She was also a member of the 4x400m relay team that earned All-America honors during the indoor season. She finished the season ranked sixth in the nation in the 600m (1:34.50) and 11th in the 300m (39.79).
A graduate of The Governors School in Byfield, Mass., Tara Karin was ranked the second-best javelin thrower on the East Coast before seeing her season cut short due to injury. Karin has thrown the javelin 152’0”.
A shot putter from Toms River North, N.J., Maureen Laffan finished fourth at the 2008 Nike Indoor National Meet. She won the 2008 Eastern States Indoor Shot Put Championships and the 2008 New Jersey Meet of Champions Outdoor Shot Put competition. Throughout her career she has also earned three top-three finishes at the New Jersey Meet of Champions. Her best throw was marked at 46’6.25” and also has weight, discus and javelin experience.
Laurel MacMillian, a track and cross country runner for Blacksburg High School, won the 2008 Indoor VA AA State Championship in the 1600m and 3200m, as well as the 2008 Outdoor 3200m title. MacMillian also took third-place at the VA AA State Cross Country Championships as a junior. Her personal-best in the 1600m is 5:05.61, while her best 3200m race was in 11:03.34 and her best 5000m time is 17:51.84.
Jayna McGehee, a Chesapeake, Va., native, finished the indoor season ranked No. 16 in the nation with a time of 2:56.15 in the 1000m. The Great Bridge High School graduate also finished third at the 2008 VA AAA State Championships in the 1600m. Her best time in the event is 5:02.37.
A pole vaulter from Douglass Freeman High School in Richmond, Va., Hillary Parsons will join the field events. Parson’s best mark is 11’3.75” and she placed fourth at the 2008 Virginia AAA Indoor State Championships.
Erin Patterson is another pole vaulter from Virginia. Patterson graduated from Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Va., and finished second at the 2008 Virginia AA Indoor State Championships. Her best jump was 11’3”.
Another Virginia native, Tasia Potasinski, will join the Cavaliers’ distance runners. Potasinski, a Westfield High School graduate in Centreville, Va., won the 2008 VA AAA Indoor State Championship in the 1000m and the 2008 VA AAA Indoor and Outdoor State Championship 1600m runs. She also anchored the 4x800m state championship relay team her senior season. Her best finish in the 800m was 2:10.42, while her top time in the 1000m is 2:57.59. She has finished the 1600m in 4:56.75.
A graduate of Dominion High School in Sterling, Va., Jennifer Weatherly will add to Virginia’s sprinters. Weatherly was the 2007 and 2008 Virginia AA Outdoor State Champion in the 200m dash, as well as the 100m champion in 2007. In addition, she finished third in the 400m at the state championships as a junior. Weatherly’s top 100m dash time is 12.08. Her best 200m time is 24.90 and her best time in the 400m is 56.51.
Erin Wykoff, a thrower from Triad High School in Highland, Ill., will round out the additions to the women’s side. Wykoff was the Illinois State discus champion in 2007. Her best throw was marked at 150’3.5”.
“I am very excited by the diversity of events covered in this class,” Bungard said. “My staff did a great job of going after and securing some of the best talent in the country. Our goal is to be a major contender in the ACC and to consistently be one of the top teams on the East Coast, if not the nation. This class will help us to that end.”