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Jan. 31, 2015

BOSTON, Mass. – The Virginia men’s track and field team had an impressive showing Saturday at the John Thomas Terrier Invitational on the campus of Boston University. Payton Hazzard (Huntington, N.Y.) set a school record in the 400m and Mike Marsella (Hope Valley, R.I.) ran a sub-four minute mile to highlight the Cavaliers’ day in Boston.

“So proud of the entire team as this was a great weekend for our program,” said head coach Bryan Fetzer. “We turned the corner. We have a long way to go, but we are for certainly headed in the right direction. The field eventers got this started last week and sprinters/distance runners took over this weekend.”

Hazzard broke the school record in the 400m with a time of 46.60, which places him in the top five nationally this season. The record comes a day after Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.) broke the women’s 200m record on the same track. Virginia has now set five school records this season.

“The original plan was to have Payton open in the 800m this weekend, but after he lead off the 4×4 last weekend at Kentucky sub 46, we changed plans,” said Fetzer. “I guess we made the smart choice.”

Marsella won the mile in a time of 3:59.97, becoming the third Cavalier in history to run a sub-four minute mile. His time is the second-best indoor performance in the event in school history. Henry Wynne (Westport, Conn.) nearly joined Marsella in the sub-four club, crossing in a time of 4:00.28, the third best indoor time in school history. Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) had the fourth-best indoor time in school history, finishing in 4:02.15.

“The sub four mile is a lifetime goal for all milers and is such an elite group,” said Fetzer. “It is impressive when you actually do it. I’m not talking about someone ran something and it converted to go under four, that’s not the real thing. This was the real thing.”

Redshirt-freshman Thomas Madden (Front Royal, Va.) had the third-best time in school history in the 5000m, finishing with a UVa freshman record of 14:02.17. Nathan Kiley (Chantilly, Va.) posted the seventh-best time in school history in the 800m, crossing the line in 1:49.29 to finish third at the meet. Evan Chiplock (Saginaw, Mich.) had the ninth-best time in school history in the 3000m, finishing in 8:08.03. Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.) followed with second-best freshman time in UVa history in the event, crossing in 8:09.59

“We have been telling them all year to strive to be great,” said Fetzer. “Good is not acceptable when being great is an option. They need to race to win, and not to worry about times. Times come when you win. Sometimes athletes forget that from high school. They compare themselves to others as opposed to being the best they can be. We had a ton of lifetime best this weekend because they executed the plan and have begun to truly trust in the process.”

The Cavaliers will return to action next week at the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet, Feb. 6-7 in Blacksburg.

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