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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia track and field team heads to the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend. Competition is scheduled to begin with the multi-events on Thursday, Feb. 26 and will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 28. All events will take place in Rector Field House on the campus of Virginia Tech. The championships will be broadcast live by ACCSelect, with live results available at

The Cavaliers enter the weekend with five All-ACC performers and two ACC Champions returning from last year’s conference meet. Senior Andrew Jesien and junior Brian Lee return from the championship-meet record-breaking distance medley relay team, while junior Katie Darraugh was runner-up in the pole vault, senior Yemi Ayeni was runner-up in the shot put and senior Andy Biladeau took third in the 3000m.

Ayeni enters the meet as the favorite to win the shot put, as he leads the league with an NCAA provisionally qualifying throw of 61’ 8.25” from the VT Challenge. His mark broke his old school record in the event.

Freshman Lance Roller also leads the league in an event, with his 1:52.19 performance in the 800m at the Virginia Duals.

Virginia heads into the weekend as the defending ACC Champion DMR team and holds the fastest time of any other conference school, as the quartet of senior Kevin Tschirhart, freshman Kevin Anding, Roller, and redshirt freshman Emil Heineking clocked in at 9:45.55 at the Penn State National Invitational.

In other events, Virginia looks to dominate the mile run, with four Cavaliers ranked in the top-eight of the event. Jesien leads the way with a 4:04.61 time from the Virginia Duals, ranking him third. Freshman Sintayehu Taye is fourth with at time of 4:06.61, while redshirt freshman Ryan Collins is seventh in 4:08.19 and freshman Alex Bowman is eighth in 4:09.30.

Freshman Matt Meyer ranks third in the league so far this season with his NCAA provisionally qualifying long jump mark of 24’ 8.25”. His leap set Virginia’s all-time program record in the event, while freshman Morgane Gay also broke a school record. Gay ran a 2:08.07 in the 800m at Penn State to hit an NCAA provisionally qualifying time and ranks fifth in the league.

Junior Ayla Smith broke Virginia’s all-time program record in the 60m hurdles earlier this season, running 8.44, and also hit an NCAA provisional mark in the pentathlon at Penn State. Competing in her first-ever multi-event, Smith collected 3778 points and ranks third in the league with her point total.

Following the championships, the Cavaliers will split up as some will head back to Blacksburg, Va., to compete in the Virginia Tech Last Chance meet on Friday, March 6 and others will head to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7.

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