BLACKSBURG, Va. – Senior Marcus Robinson and freshman Anthony Kostelac won their first-ever individual ACC Championship titles Saturday afternoon on the final day of the 2011 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House, while four other Cavaliers earned All-ACC honors.
Robinson used a personal-best leap of 52′ 8″ on his fifth attempt to claim his first-ever conference crown in the triple jump. The Richmond, Va., native becomes just the third Cavalier to win the triple jump indoors and the first since Cornell Grayson did so in 1990. His mark also moves him into second-place all-time at UVa, trailing only former All-American and ACC Champion Keith Witherspoon’s school record of 53′ 0.25″ from 1976.
“I’ve been working really hard and it feels good to finally get a win,” Robinson said. “I had to gather up all my momentum and bring it down and keep it solid. [Virginia Tech’s Hasheem Halim] beat me out for second place last year, so I just rallied behind my team. It feels great. It’s always good to bring one home for the team, it brings up morale for everyone not just for me.”
Kostelac also earned top honors on the day, running away with the 800m title. The Albemarle, Va., native crossed in a personal-best time of 1:49.24, while Clemson’s Chris Slate finished second in 1:51.01. Kostelac’s time is now tied for fifth with John Hinton’s performance in 1984 on UVa’s all-time records list. He is also currently the top freshman in the NCAA in the 800m.
“I wanted to stay right behind the leader, wherever he was and do whatever he did,” Kostelac said. “Then I was expecting to kick hard at the end like always. It was one of the best races I’ve ever run in and I’ll never forget this race. I have to thank my team for cheering me on, that was stupendous.”
With the win, Kostelac remains undefeated in the event this year and becomes the fifth Cavalier to ever win the 800m crown indoors. It is also the second-straight year Virginia has won the event, as NCAA Champion Robby Andrews won it last season.
The Cavaliers also got All-ACC performances from redshirt senior Stephanie Garcia, senior Adams Abdulrazaaq, junior Kevin Anding and sophomore Brett Johnson throughout the day.
Garcia finished third in the 3000m with a personal-best time of 9:19.44 to move closer to former All-American Claire Forbes’ school record time of 9:18.80, set in 1992. Garcia currently sits second on Virginia’s all-time list.
Abdulrazaaq earned his third-straight all-conference honor in the 60m hurdles with a runner-up finish in 7.83. Miami’s Devon Hill won the title in 7.76.
In the 400m dash, Anding earned his first all-conference honor in the event by winning his heat in 47.46 and finishing third overall.
Johnson rounds out the Cavaliers earning all-conference accolades, as he started the day with a third-place finish in the mile run. He finished with a time of 4:07.93.
In other events, senior Lyndsay Harper broke Virginia’s school record in the 800m, finishing fourth in a personal-best 2:07.64. Her mark breaks teammate All-American Morgane Gay’s previous record of 2:08.07 from 2009.
Overall, the Cavalier men finished fourth with 77 points. Virginia Tech ran away with the title, scoring 140 points, while Florida State finished runner-up with 99 points. NC State rounded out the top-three with 83.5 points.
On the women’s side, Virginia finished tied with Duke for sixth place with 45 points – the second-best finish for the Cavaliers in the last eight years. Virginia finished fifth with 57 points in 2008.
Clemson won the women’s title with 152 points, while Florida State finished runner-up with 100.5 points. North Carolina finished third with 69 points.
The Cavaliers will return to action next weekend as they have one last chance to qualify for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Virginia will return to Blacksburg for the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier or to South Bend, Ind., for Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational. Events are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 4-5.
Ryan Collins – 5000m
Vanessa Fabrizio – Distance Medley Relay
Morgane Gay – Distance Medley Relay
Stephanie Garcia – Distance Medley Relay
Lyndsay Harper – Distance Medley Relay
Anthony Kostelac – 800m
Marcus Robinson – Triple Jump
Adams Abdulrazaaq – 2nd – 60m Hurdles
Kevin Anding – 3rd – 400m
Ryan Collins – 1st – 5000m
Vanessa Fabrizio – 1st – Distance Medley Relay
Morgane Gay – 1st – Distance Medley Relay
Stephanie Garcia – 1st – Distance Medley Relay
Stephanie Garcia – 2nd – 3000m
Lyndsay Harper – 1st – Distance Medley Relay
Brett Johnson – 3rd – Mile
Anthony Kostelac – 1st – 800m
Marcus Robinson – 1st – Triple Jump