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Feb. 21, 2015

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Virginia men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams competed in three events Saturday at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame. The Cavaliers had a pair of top-five all-time times in relays to highlight the day.

“We are in a much better position than we were prior to the weekend,” said head coach Bryan Fetzer. “I’m excited about the opportunities that are before us next weekend at ACC’s. There is a lot more confidence in the group now than in previous years. We are not where we want to be, but we keep making progress.”

The men’s distance medley relay of Mike Marsella (Hope Valley, R.I.), Payton Hazzard (Huntington, N.Y.), Nathan Kiley (Chantilly, Va.) and Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) finished fifth in a time of 9:32.36, the third-best time in school history. The time also moves the Cavaliers into the top 10 nationally in the event this season and puts them in position to be one of the 12 teams to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

“The men competed very well,” said Fetzer. “It was a big breakout performance for Marsella. A 2:52 leadoff is huge. We finished fifth against the top 15 schools in the country. We are on `the bubble’, which most basketball fans can appreciate. Now it is a wait and see. I do feel confident that we should make the top 12.”

The women’s 4x400m relay of Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.), Chimere Ezumah (Gardena, Calif.), Vanessa Fabrizio (Denver, Colo.) and Andrea Wright (Chesapeake, Va.) finished fifth at the meet in a time of 3:41.04, the fourth-best time in school history.

“We ran well overall,” said Fetzer. “It’s about the little things and we are still learning. A bad exchange cost us a couple seconds. We can correct that and perform even better next week.”

Lavender was the only Cavalier to compete in an individual event, finishing second in the women’s 400m with a season-best time of 53.21.

Virginia will return to action next week with the 2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The meet will run Feb. 26-28 at Virginia Tech.

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