CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-Senior Andy Fahringer (Whitehall, Pa.) and junior Morgane Gay (Bethesda, Md.) broke school records as the Virginia track and field team hosted the Virginia Challenge Saturday (May 12) at Lannigan Field.
“I’m very excited about the meet today,” Virginia director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer said. “We got a lot accomplished with several athletes moving up on the NCAA list. It’s hard coming right off of exams and refocusing to compete. Today sets us up for a good NCAA run.”
Fahringer’s mark of 75.19m (246′ 8″) won the javelin and came on his fourth throw. With the distance, which also broke the facility record, Fahringer now ranks sixth in the NCAA.
“It (the record throw) was very sweet,” Fahringer said. “Coach Richardson and I have been working on some technical things and we’re not trying to peak right now, it was just a tune-up meet to get the speed down and get ready for North Florida and nationals. I’m in a really good place right now even though the technique wasn’t right on today. I know I have things to improve upon, so the next couple of weeks are going to be exciting.”
Gay finished fourth in the women’s 1,500 meters in a time of 4:14.38, placing fourth. She beat her previous season-best time of 4:15.04, set two weeks ago at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.
“I was happy with my race because I knew it was a really strong field,” Gay said. “We went out pretty strong and it was a little shaky with people moving around. I was trying to stay strong throughout, but it was hard and I tightened up a little bit at the end. Overall, I’ve been happy with my training and feel like I’ve been improving the past couple of weeks with speed training leading up to nationals in a couple weeks.”
In the men’s 800 meters, senior Lance Roller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) came from behind to win in a time of 1:48.47, while sophomore Anthony Kostelac (Charlottesville, Va.) was third in 1:48.86.
Freshman Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.) earned second in the women’s 200 meters in a time of 24.27, with junior Danielle Williams (Alexandria, Va.) right behind in 24.31. Senior Kevin Anding (Houston, Texas) placed third in the men’s 400 meters in 48.07.
Other winners included senior Vincenzo Chiariello (Staten Island, N.Y.) in the men’s hammer throw (59.59m – 195′ 6″), senior Maureen Laffan (Toms River, N.J.) won the women’s hammer (57.10m – 187′ 4″) and fellow senior Erin Wykoff (St. Jacob, Ill.) claimed the women’s discus (53.78m – 176′ 5″).
Freshman Nick Vena (Moorestown, N.J.) was second in the men’s discus with a mark of 48.59m (159′ 5″) and third in the shot put with a throw of 18.50m (60′ 8.25″).
In the men’s triple jump, freshman Ryan Satchell (Central Islip, N.Y.) was third with a PR of 15.25m (50′ 0.50″), the seventh-best mark in school history.
In other action at the Virginia Challenge, Ayana Alexander broke the Trinidad and Tobago national record in the triple jump with a mark of 14.14m (46′ 4.75″), an Olympic “B” standard. Rachel Ward broke the Lannigan Field record in the women’s 5,000 (15:47.05), while Binghamton’s Erik van Ingen broke the track record in the men’s 1,500 meters (3:38.06).
Both Olympic gold medalist Jernail Hayes and former Virginia standout Ayla Smith bested the facility record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles in 56.36 and 56.79, respectively.
“For the first year of the Virginia Challenge, I would say it was a great success,” Fetzer said. “I can see this meet becoming something people mark on their calender as the place to be.”
The Cavaliers return to action May 24-26 for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. The NCAA will announce the participants on Thursday (May 20).