Robinson, Gay Pick Up Golds on Final Day of ACC Championships
BOSTON-Senior Marcus Robinson (Richmond, Va.) successfully defended his men’s triple jump title and junior Morgane Gay (Bethesda, Md.) won her first conference crown in the women’s mile as the Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams concluded the 2012 ACC Indoor Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track Center in Boston.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with how we competed from the start of the meet until the finish,” director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer said. “A lot of the athletes on the team gained confidence about doing things that they other-wise thought they couldn’t.”
The Cavalier women placed fourth, their highest finish since 2003, with 59 points. Clemson won on the women’s side for the third consecutive year with 166 points, followed by Florida State (87), North Carolina (85), UVa (59), Virginia Tech (53), Duke (48), NC State (47), Maryland (35), Miami (32), Boston College (26), Georgia Tech (21) and Wake Forest (4).
“For the best finish in nine years, is a strong statement to where we’re going to be headed,” Fetzer continued. “I’m not satisfied with it, but very excited about it. It’s just a start.”
The Cavalier men finished the competition fourth with 80 points. The Florida State won the men’s team title with 123 points, followed by Virginia Tech (95.5), North Carolina (84.5), UVa (80), Clemson (78), NC State (61), Duke (47), Georgia Tech (33.50), Maryland (28), Miami (19), Wake Forest (10) and Boston College (2.5).
“We had some incredible individual performances with our conference champions with Mark (Amirault) and Marcus (Robinson) and the school record with Nick (Vena),” Fetzer said. “It sets us in a good place for the upcoming NCAA Championships and the outdoor season to come.”
Robinson hit a mark of 16.32m (53’6.5″) in his first attempt at the triple jump and that was enough to earn gold for the second consecutive year.
“He had to deal with some runway issues because it isn’t that long here and had to come off of the bank, but he hit the big jump on his first attempt, which was his second-furthest jump ever and put the pressure on everybody else,” jumps coach Michael Eskind said. “He also put a big one out there on his last jump as well, so he’s jumping consistently and that’s going to set him up well for NCAAs.”
Gay ran a 4:41.40 in the women’s mile, crossing just before Lianne Farber of North Carolina, who finished in 4:41.80.
“We came into this weekend as a test for NCAAs in two weeks on how to run a prelim, how to run a final and how to respond,” women’s distance coach Todd Morgan said. “I wanted her to stay up front at the beginning and said anywhere with 600-800 meters out, you make the call on when to go and when you do, you need to put it away. That’s what she did and won her first ACC Championship as the favorite, which is not easy to do. She did a great job.”
In the men’s shot put, freshman Nick Vena (Morristown, N.J.) earned silver with a Virginia record throw of 18.84m (61’9.75″). Both his fifth and sixth attempts were past his previous best mark.
“I think the mark of this competition for Nick was that his best two throws were his last two throws,” throws coach Ross Richardson said. “That’s something we’ve been working on, building throughout the competition. He continued to get better and I think that was a step of maturity in the competitive atmosphere of being a collegian.”
The men’s 4×400 relay of sophomore Ozzie Bryan (Philadelphia, Pa.), junior Lance Roller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), sophomore Anthony Kostelac (Charlottesville, Va.) and freshman Payton Hazzard (Huntington, N.Y.) secured silver in a time of 3:14.03.
Junior Dallas Rose (Pearland, Texas) placed third in the women’s triple jump with a PR of 12.98m (42’7″) on her final attempt. Her mark ranks third in school history.
Senior Kevin Anding (Houston, Texas) took home bronze in the men’s 400 meters with a time of 48.04, while sophomore Taylor Gilland (Chapel Hill, N.C.) finished fourth in the men’s mile with a time of 4:10.21.
The women’s 4×400 relay team of senior Meagan Gillespie (Brooklyn, N.Y.), junior Danielle Williams (Alexandria, Va.), sophomore Vanessa Fabrizio (Denver, Colo. and freshman Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.) finished fourth overall and won their heat in a time of 3:44.2. Earlier in the day, Fabrizio placed fourth in the 800 meters in 2:10.90.
Senior Maureen Laffan (Toms River, N.J.) earned fourth in the women’s shot put with a throw of 14.98m (49’1.75″).
A day after earning silver in the women’s 5,000 meters, senior Anna Corrign (Burke, Va.) finished fifth in the 3,000 meters in 9:34.96.
In the men’s 800 meters, Roller placed fifth in a time of 1:50.22. Freshman Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) crossed the line seventh in the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:13.85, the ninth-best time in school history.
The Cavaliers return to action next weekend when they compete at the Alex Wilson Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind., and the VT Final Qualifier in Blacksburg, Va.