JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-Senior Vincenzo Chiariello (Staten Island, N.Y.) and freshman Nick Vena (Morristown, N.J.) broke school records as the Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams completed action on the first day of the Best Western North Florida Invitational Friday (March 30) in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Overall, it was an outstanding performance today,” director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer said. “It was great to have an opportunity to compete at the NCAA Preliminary facility.”
Chiariello won the men’s hammer throw and broke his own school record with a mark of 61.97m (203′ 4″). The throw was Chiariello’s third attempt of the day. Sophomore James Fuson (Glen Allen, Va.) placed third with a throw of 55.53m (182′ 2″), the fourth-best mark in school history.
The senior also won the men’s discus throw with a mark of 48.40m (158′ 9″), while fellow senior Andy Fahringer (Whitehall, Pa.) placed third with a distance of 46.95m (154′ 0″). Both meet bests came on their first attempts.
“Vincenzo showed maturity and confidence today even though he was having a little trouble with his consistency,” throws coach Ross Richardson said. “The mark of a mature and confident thrower is the ability to find a personal best even when things are not lining up exactly right for them and Enzo did that today.”
In the shot put circle, Vena set the program mark and earned the win. He broke Yemi Ayeni’s 2009 outdoor school record by over three feet and became the first Cavalier to break the 19-meter mark with a distance of 19.07m (62′ 6.75″).
“For Nick, this is a really good place to start coming off of a great indoor season,” Richardson continued. “We had talked this week about opening with a throw that would solidify his place in the NCAA First Round and set him up for a great ACC meet. I feel like Nick accomplished both those goals today.”
“Our throwers had a great day overall with two school records and a lot of wins,” Fetzer said. “We need to keep building on this foundation tomorrow.”
Also in the field events, senior Maureen Laffan (Toms River, N.J.) claimed the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 56.38m (185′ 0″) on her fifth attempt. Classmate Erin Wykoff (St. Jacob, Ill.) finished fifth with a distance of 51.12m (167′ 8″) on her sixth and final throw.
Freshmen Ed Schrom (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Cody Snyder (Mechanicsville, Va.) finished second and third in the men’s 1,500 meters in 3:51.73 and 3:53.88. Schrom’s time is almost three seconds faster than his performance at the UVa Team Swashbuckle (March 24) and is a personal best.
Senior Catherine White (Roanoke, Va.) placed fourth in the women’s 1,500 meters in a time of 4:27.22, shaving three seconds off her time last weekend.
In the men’s 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Aaron Shepperd (Washington, D.C.) qualified for Saturday’s final in a PR of 14.40. Freshman Devin Brewer (Dumfries, Va.) will join Shepperd in the final after winning his heat in 14.78, a new PR.
The action continues Saturday (March 31) with the field events beginning at 11 a.m., and the running events at 1 p.m.