Hazzard and Mihaljevic Win Titles as Cavaliers Place Third at ACC Indoors
Feb. 28, 2015
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia men’s track and field team tied its best ever finish at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships with a third place finish at the 2015 meet at Rector Field House. Payton Hazzard (Huntington, N.Y.) and Filip Mihaljevic (Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina) captured titles on the final day of the meet as the Cavaliers climbed to third in the standings.
“In 60-plus years of the indoor program at Virginia, it is special for this group to be associated with the best finish at this meet” said head coach Bryan Fetzer. “That speaks volumes about the character of this team. Every guy had to step up and it was a total team effort. We scored in distance, in sprints, in relays, in throws and in jumps, and good teams are ones that score from everywhere. This performance will be a great springboard for even better things in the future.”
Virginia finished with 71 points to finish behind champion Virginia Tech (101 points) and runner-up Florida State (86.5) and ahead of fourth-place North Carolina (67 points). The third place finish ties the 2009 Cavaliers for the best performance at the ACC Indoor Championships.
The Cavaliers dominated the shot put competition, capturing the two places. Mihaljevic won his second career ACC title, winning the shot put with a mark of 61-11.5. Jordan Young (Windsor, Ontario), who won the weight throw title on Thursday, finished second with a mark of 61-8.25. Young was named Co-Men’s Field MVP of the meet with his gold and silver performances during the week.
“To go 1-2 in a conference as good as the ACC in any event is impressive,” said Fetzer. “Those guys feed off each other. Filip didn’t have two good throws to start, but showed the maturity to get into the finals where he won the meet. Jordan let the country know this weekend that he is a player on the national stage in both the shot put and weight throw. He has come a long way in a short period of time.”
Hazzard won his first ACC title with his crown in the 400m. His time of 46.62, just off his season-best time, won the first of two flights of the final. That time stood up as the best of both flights to give the Cavalier senior the championship.
“Payton just has a different gear he can go to,” said Fetzer. “It is impressive to win a conference 400m title coming out of the first heat. He was essentially by himself in the first heat. I think that with the time he put up, the guys in the second heat pressed a little bit and that was the difference.”
Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) earned All-ACC honors with a third place finish in the men’s 3000m, crossing in a time of 8:03.31.
“Kyle King ran a great race,” said Fetzer. “He could have gambled and tried to go for the win, but he did what the team needed and he made sure he stayed ahead of the UNC guys. That speaks volumes to what kind of team player he is.”
Nathan Kiley (Chantilly, Va.) posted a fifth-place finish in the 800m, crossing in a time of 1:41.91, less than a second off his indoor PR.
Ryan Satchell (Central Islip, N.Y.) had a season-best 50-7.5 to finish sixth in the triple jump.
“Ryan came through for us today,” said Fetzer. “He has been injured recently and not been able to practice much. For him to score against a field as loaded as the ACC has in the triple jump was impressive.”
The ACC Championship also marked the indoor track and field matchup between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash, sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. With the Hokies finishing ahead of the Cavaliers in both the men’s and women’s meets, Virginia Tech gained two points in the competition. Virginia now leads the 2014-15 Commonwealth Clash, 7.5 to 4.5. Learn more about Virginia529 and this new competition at thecommonwealthclash.com.
The Cavaliers will conclude the indoor season March 13-14 at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The team opens the outdoor season the following week when it hosts the Virginia Cup on March 21 at Lannigan Field.