Women's Track and Field Preview
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams will open their respective seasons this weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational. Events are scheduled to begin on Friday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m., before concluding Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Live results will be available on FlashResults.com.
Women’s Season Outlook
Finishing the 2009 campaign with a program-best five All-Americans, the Cavaliers garnered a dual national honor in the discus and had its first-ever freshman All-American during the outdoor season. Building off the success of the cross country team, which finished 15th at the 2009 NCAA Championships, the Cavalier women welcome the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation to Grounds to continue being a contender in the ACC.
Virginia’s distance and middle distance group looks to be in good shape. Coming off a fourth-place individual finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, Catherine White will be among the best in the nation in the 10k. All-American Stephanie Garcia will look to close her career with a second-consecutive national honor in the steeplechase, while Morgane Gay – the ACC Freshman of the Year – will vie for a conference crown and another All-America honor in the 1500m.
All-ACC performer Lauretta Dezubay will join with returners Anna Corrigan, Lyndsay Harper and Laurel MacMillan to provide depth for the distance and middle distance corps.
All-American Meghan Briggs will head a young group of throwers. The two-time ACC Champion in the javelin will be joined by East Region qualifier Tara Karin and Indira Morton, who scored at ACCs, while NCAA regional qualifier Maureen Laffan will look to again secure points in the shot put competition. Newcomer Emily Vannoy – a high school All-American in the shot put and discus – will team up with Erin Wykoff to add valuable versatility in the shot put, discus and hammer throws.
Virginia returns each leg of its 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams to the track this season, in addition to hurdlers Kristina Chapman and Chidi Uche. Chapman and Jenni Weatherly will be expected to anchor the relays, while newcomer Danielle Williams – a high school state champion in the 100m and 200m – will provide valuable support in the sprints.
In the hurdles, Uche will look to build off NCAA Regional qualifying performances in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles.
The Cavaliers will look to use some young talent in the jumps and the success of All-ACC pole vaulter Katie Darraugh to carry them through this season. Newcomer Pearl Bickersteth, a high school All-American in the high jump, will establish herself among the top high jumpers in the conference. In the triple jump, Whitney Rose – a high school state champion – will look to help Rashawnda James score points at the conference meet.