CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s distance medley relay of junior All-American Morgane Gay, redshirt senior Ayla Smith, senior Lyndsay Harper and redshirt senior All-American Stephanie Garcia automatically qualified for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and shattered the school record in the event Friday night at the Armory. This will mark the first year that the Virginia has sent a women’s DMR team to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The quartet combined to run the second-fastest time in the NCAA this year, finishing second in their heat in 10:59.33. It took the nation’s top time to beat the Cavaliers, as Villanova won the race in 10:56.12.
Virginia’s mark also betters the all-time program record that UVa’s ACC Championship DMR squad of Gay, freshman Vanessa Fabrizio, Harper and Garcia set at 11:14.15 last weekend. The previous school record was a former world record set 28 years ago by former All-Americans Lisa Welch, Lesley Welch, Lisa Garrett and Jill Haworth at 11:19.39.
On the men’s side, Virginia’s DMR team of sophomore Brett Johnson, junior Kevin Anding, freshman Anthony Kostelac and redshirt junior Emil Heineking ran 9:34.62 to finish second in their heat at Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational. The squad currently ranks 13th nationally and will await Monday’s announcement of the teams selected to compete at NCAAs.
Also at the Alex Wilson Invitational, redshirt junior All-American Ryan Collins finished fifth in the 5000m with a time of 14:05.93. Collins concluded his indoor season by becoming the first person in the conference’s 57-year history to win three-straight ACC titles in the 5000m.
Virginia will continue competition tomorrow as senior Adams Abdulrazaaq and freshman Aaron Shepperd will race in the 60m hurdles at the Virginia Tech Invitational.
Bids for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be announced the evening of Monday, March 7. The national meet will be held at Texas A&M on March 11-12.