Amirault, Bickersteth Grab Gold on Second Day of ACC Championships
BOSTON-The trio of senior Mark Amirault (Walpole, Mass.), freshman Chris Foley (Chantilly, Va.) and sophomore Thomas Porter (Fredericksburg, Va.) went 1-2-3 in the men’s 5,000 meters and junior Pearl Bickersteth (Dumfries, Va.) captured gold in the women’s high jump as the Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams completed action on day two of the ACC Indoor Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track Center in Boston.
The Cavalier men are currently second with 37 points, while the women are currently seventh with 24 points. The Virginia Tech men are first with 40.5 points, while North Carolina leads on the women’s side with 35 points.
Amirault won the men’s 5,000 meters in a time of 14:13.61, while Foley was second in 14:14.85. Porter took the first heat by over 11 seconds in a time of 14:16.83 to finish third. Amirault’s time is fourth all-time at UVa, while Porter’s time now ranks sixth in school history.
“I think it gives a lot of momentum to the team and this means a lot,” men’s distance coach Pete Watson said. “It’s a very tough conference to go 1-2-3 in and the guys executed our game plan really well.”
Bickersteth won her first conference crown in the women’s high jump with a personal-best height of 1.79m (5’10.5″). After missing her first two attempts at 1.75m (5’8.75″), Bickersteth converted her third attempt and first at the next height, 1.79m.
“It was definitely nerve-wrecking because I had scratched the first two at 5’8.75″, so I knew I had to get up on that last one… I was so nervous,” Bickersteth said. “I was able to pull out a big one and tried to keep it going at 5’10.5″. I just went for it and was able to get it on my first attempt. I’m just really proud of how I performed today. I really wanted it and had been talking all week that I had such a good chance, and to go out and do it, is so exciting.”
In Friday’s prelims, sophomore Vanessa Fabrizio (Denver, Colo) broke the school record in the women’s 800 meters with a time of 2:07.43 and will be seeded third in Saturday’s final. She won her heat by over three-and-a-half seconds and eased to victory in the final stretch.
“I am very proud of Vanessa and her efforts today,” mid-distance coach Julie Stackhouse said. “She ran a school record and a respectable PR in the prelims, shutting it down the last 50m with the next competitor a solid four seconds back. I’m confident you will see big things from her in the final tomorrow as well as in the 4×400 relay.”
In the women’s 5,000 meters, senior Anna Corrigan (Burke, Va.) earned silver in a time of 16:25.81, the fourth-best time in school history.
The men’s distance medley relay team of sophomore Anthony Kostelac (Charlottesville, Va.), freshman Payton Hazzard (Huntington, N.Y.), junior Lance Roller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and junior Patrick Todd (Highland Park, Texas) finished second in 9:43.77.
Sophomore Emily Kianka (Pennington, N.J.) placed in a tie for fourth in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.70m (5’7″).
In the heptathlon, freshman Christian Lavorgna (Sparta, N.J.) finished seventh with 4,693 points. He started the day with a 8.92 in the 60-meter hurdles before hitting a PR of 4.29m (14’0.75″) in the pole vault. He concluded the competition with a 2:48.98 in the 1,000 meters.
Sophomore Tommy Devita (Ridgewood, N.J.) placed seventh in the men’s high jump, hitting a height of 2.04m (6’8.25″), while senior Maureen Laffan (Toms River, N.J.) was seventh in the women’s weight throw with a 18.13m (59’5.75″) throw.
In the final event of the evening, senior Vincenzo Chiariello (Staten Island, N.Y.) finished eighth in the men’s weight throw with a mark of 17.69m (58’0.5″).
Also in prelims, junior Morgane Gay (Bethesda, Md.) qualified for the women’s mile final, while fellow Todd and sophomore Taylor Gilland (Chapel Hill, N.C.) will run in the men’s mile final Saturday. Gay won her heat in 4:47.71, while Todd and Gilland placed second in their heats in 4:08.06 and 4:11.02, respectively.
In the men’s 400 meters, senior Kevin Anding (Houston, Texas) will be seeded second in the final after winning his heat in a time of 48.60, while Roller is ranked third in the men’s 800 meters in a time of 1:51.04.
The action continues Saturday at 11 a.m. Live video coverage will be available at theacc.com from noon until 4 p.m.