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Jan. 16, 2015

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track & field teams opened the 2015 indoor season Friday night with the first day of the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Rector Field House. The highlight of the opening day of the season for the Cavaliers was sophomore Jordan Young (Windsor, Ontario) setting a school-record in the men’s weight throw.

Young, a transfer from Arizona where he was an All-American last year, shattered the school record in the weight throw on his first throw as a Cavalier with a distance of 66’10”, breaking the previous record by over three feet. He followed that with another school record, 69’1″ on his second throw. On his third throw, he broke the record again, throwing 70′ 3.5″ to win the event. He is one of just four athletes in the nation to hit the 70-foot mark this season.

Young’s throw was one of many strong performances by the Cavaliers in the season debut. Senior Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.) was fourth in the women’s 60m, running a PR of 7.49 in the final, the fourth-fastest time in school history. Senior Payton Hazzard (Huntington, N.Y.) ran a PR of 6.95 in the men’s 60m, the ninth-fastest time in school history.

“This meet was a great opportunity for a lot of athletes to get their first competition of the year,” said head coach Bryan Fetzer. “I was pleased that we had many athletes get off to a good start to the season. This meet is just the first step towards accomplishing the goals we have later in the year. We will have a few field athletes and decathletes compete here tomorrow and then we get ready for a big meet next week at Kentucky, which will be a NCAA meet preview.”

Sophomore Heather Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) ran a PR of 8.77 in the women’s 60m hurdles, the ninth best time in school history, to finish ninth in the event. First-year Mia Barron (Minnetonka, Minn.) finished fifth in the women’s triple jump, with a mark of 39′ 7.25″, the fifth-best freshman mark in school history. Junior Peyton Chaney (Belleville, Ill.) was sixth in the women’s 300m, running 39.43 in the non-traditional event.

Redshirt-freshman Jeff Jernigan (DeKalb, Ga.) won the unseeded flight of the men’s pole vault, with a PR of 15′ 3″. Junior Christian Lavorgna (Jefferson, N.J.) finished third, tying his indoor PR at 14′ 9″.

The meet concludes Saturday, with events beginning at 11 a.m. Virginia will return to action next week (Jan. 23-24) with the Rod McCravy Meet in Lexington, Ky.

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