Briggs and Garcia Earn All-America Honors at NCAAs
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Although severe thunderstorms altered the schedule of the third day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus, juniors Stephanie Garcia and Meghan Briggs fought to earn their first-ever All-America honors in the steeplechase and javelin, respectively.
In her first-ever appearance in the finals of the steeplechase, Garcia became the program’s second All-American in the event by improving upon her 16th-place finish from a year ago to take ninth this season. Garcia completed the race in 10:14.35 to join Dawn Cleary (2003) as the only Cavaliers to earn the national honor. Colorado’s Jenny Barringer won the event with a meet record time of 9:25.53.
Garcia, the 2008 ACC Champion in the steeplechase, finished her season with her first All-America honor and her third All-East Region honor.
Briggs, competing in her first-ever finals of the javelin, threw 164’ 2” to finish ninth and earn her first All-America distinction. She becomes the fourth Cavalier to earn the national honor, as Julia Solo was a three-time All-American (1987, ’88, ’89), Ann Crouse was a two-time honoree (1995, ’99) and most recently, Inge Jorgensen was a three-time honoree (2001, ’04, ’05). Oregon’s Rachel Yurkovich won this year’s title with a throw of 195’ 7”.
Briggs finishes her season as the ACC Champion, a Penn Relays title and the ECAC Championship in the javelin. She also earned all-region honors in the event.
Virginia will conclude competition at the NCAA Championships tomorrow afternoon. Senior Yemi Ayeni will kick things off at 11 a.m., in the finals of the discus, followed by seniors Billie-Jo Grant and Caitlin Kelly in the women’s discus at 1 p.m. Freshman Morgane Gay will conclude competition for the Cavaliers, racing in the finals of the 1500m at 2:09 p.m.