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Blacksburg, VA Freshman Ryan Collins (Mansfield, Mass.), became Virginia’s first-ever champion in the Indoor 5000 meters to lead the Cavaliers during Friday’s competition at the 2009 ACC Indoor Championships taking place at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House.

Collins time of 14.17.76 was the third fastest in school history and led a strong contingent of UVa runners in the event as teammates Emil Heineking (14.23.99) and Graham Tribble (14.26.04) took third and fourth places, respectively. Heineking’s time was the fourth best in school history and Tribble’s effort ranks seventh.

“I was getting antsy during the race and really wanted to take the lead because there were a lot of surges where people would go out and then come back,” Collins said. “He (head coach Jason Vigilante) told me no matter what, to be patient and wait for the final two laps. I did exactly that. I waited for two laps to go and then went hard at the end and felt really good.”

The UVa men used a third-place showing in the Distance Medley Relay (Alex Bowman, Brian Lee, Lance Roller, Kevin Tschirhart 9.54.28) to be tied for second overall in the 12-team meet with 27 points entering Saturday’s final day of competition. Six-time defending ACC champion Florida State leads the field with 42 points while Virginia Tech is tied with the Cavaliers for second.

In the day’s other top distance event, the Cavalier men advanced three runners to Saturday’s final in the mile. Sintayehu Taye turned in the top time in the prelims, topping the field at 4:08.16. Andrew Jesien (4:10.12) and Kevin Tschirhart (4:10.06) both advanced out of their heats.

Meikle Paschal’s sixth-best time in the prelims (48.28) earned him a spot in the finals of the men’s 400-meters while Adams Abdulrazaaq advanced in the 60-meter hurdles with the sixth-best prelim time of 8:13. UVa placed two competitors into the finals of the 800 meters. Steve Finley won his heat Friday with a time of 1:53.36 and Andrew Lobb advanced with the top-eight mark of 1:53.24.

The UVa women were led by a fifth-place finish in the Distance Medley Relay (Sara Cascells, Jennifer Weatherly, Lyndsay Harper, Stephanie Garcia 11:41.54), Rashawnda James’ sixth-place finish in the long jump (6.02m) and Alexa Manning’s 10th-place effort in the weight throw (16.16m).

Sara Cascells advanced to the finals of the women’s mile (4:54:97), the fastest time by a Cavalier this season. Ayla Smith, who finished fourth in the pentathlon, advanced to the finals of the 60-meter hurdles with an eighth-best prelim time of 8:49. Mogan Gay will race in the 800-meter final after finishing with a time of 2:10.01.

The Cavalier women are in seventh place with 12 points after Friday’s results. Clemson leads the women’s field with 55 points while NC State is second at 37.

Live results are available at this link. ACC Select will provide a live, free webcast of Saturday’s finals starting at noon.

Men’s Standings
1. Florida State 42
2. Virginia 27
3. Virginia Tech 27
4. NC State 22
5. North Carolina 20
6. Clemson 17
7. Duke 16
8. Wake Forest 10
9. Miami 8
10. Boston College 3
10. Maryland 3
12. Georgia Tech 0

Women’s Standings
1. Clemson 55
2. NC State 37
3. Florida State 33
4. North Carolina 23
5. Virginia Tech 21
6. Georgia Tech 13
7. Virginia 12
8. Wake Forest 11
9. Duke 9
10. Maryland 7
11. Miami 7
12. Boston College 6

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