The Dozen Must-See Events of the Virginia Challenge
April 16, 2015
There will be over 1,300 athletes from 35 school competing Friday and Saturday in the Virginia Challenge at Lannigan Field. With 42 total events, it will be non-stop action both days, but if you are looking to find some of the best competitions of the meet, here are 12 of the best.
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase (Friday Â• 7:30 p.m.)
Reigning NCAA Champion Leah O’Connor of Michigan State, who won the NCAA title in the mile during this year’s indoor championships, highlights a strong field in the women’s steeplechase. Virginia’s Iona Lake will make her Cavalier debut in the event after being the 2014 British university champion in the steeplechase.
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase (Friday Â• 7:55 p.m.)
The men’s steeplechase features five of the 24 athletes to compete in the event at last year’s NCAA Championships in Eugene. Three of those runners reached the final, with Ole Hesselbjerg of Eastern Kentucky finishing third, Mason Ferlic of Michigan finishing fourth and Virginia’s Kyle King, the reigning ACC Champion in the event, finishing 12th.
Men’s Triple Jump (Friday Â• 8:00 p.m.)
Three of the top eight finishers at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships highlight a loaded field in the men’s triple jump. The trio of 2015 NCAA Indoor Runner-Up Donald Scott of Eastern Michigan, 2014 Outdoor and 2015 Indoor first-team All-American Matthew O’Neal of USF and 2015 Indoor first-team All-American Phillip Young of Ole Miss will be competing against a field that also includes Virginia’s All-American Ryan Satchell, the reigning outdoor ACC Champion in the triple jump.
Men’s Discus (Friday Â• 8:00 p.m.)
Virginia’s dynamic throwing duo of Jordan Young and Filip Mihlajevic will star in the men’s discus competition. Both Young (3rd) and Mihlajevic (6th) are currently ranked among the nation’s leaders in the event, and are joined in the field by Antonio James of Michigan State, a NCAA finalist in the discus last year.
Men’s 800m (Friday Â• 8:25 p.m.)
The men’s 800m will feature an elite 15-runner field. Dylan Capwell of Monmouth, the 2015 NCAA Indoor 800m runner-up, is joined by 2014 NCAA Outdoor 800m qualifier Henry Tufnell of Brown, 2015 NCAA Indoor Mile qualifier Ahmed Bile of Georgetown and Virginia’s Nathan Kiley, who finished fifth in the 800m at this year’s ACC Indoor Championships, in the race.
Women’s 800m (Friday Â• 8:33 p.m.)
The women’s 800m field includes two of the top eight finishers at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. ACC Champion Hanna Green of Virginia Tech and first-team All-American Brooke Fieldmeier of Ole Miss will highlight the event along with Virginia’s Vanessa Fabrizio, the 800m runner-up at the 2013 and 2014 ACC Outdoor Championships.
Women’s 100m (Friday Â• 8:55 p.m.)
There will be plenty of speed on display in the women’s 100m on Friday night. Chesna Sykes of Ohio State, the Big Ten champion in the indoor 60m this year, will take on a field that includes VCU All-American Kiara Porter and Virginia’s All-ACC sprinter Peyton Chaney.
Men’s 400m (Friday Â• 9:05 p.m.)
The final event of the opening day will be showdown of elite runners in the men’s 400m. Former Pitt standout Brycen Spratling returns to defend his crown and Lannigan Field record (45.22) against Virginia’s Payton Hazzard, the 2015 ACC Indoor 400m Champion, and All-Americans Lamar Bruton of Ohio State and Ceo Ways of North Carolina.
Women’s 400m Hurdles (Saturday Â• 4:50 p.m.)
The women’s 400m hurdles features three of the 24 athletes to qualify for last year’s NCAA Championships in Eugene. Harvard’s Jade Miller is joined Alexis Franklin of Ohio State and Evann Thompson of Pitt as the entire field has run 59.77 or better.
Men’s Shot Put (Saturday Â• 7:35 p.m.)
Virginia’s Filip Mihaljevic, a first-team All-American and school record holder in the shot put, leads a deep field in the event. Seven of the nine athletes in the invitational flight are currently ranked in the top 35 nationally in the event, including Virginia’s Jordan Young, 2015 Indoor All-American Derek Sievers of Michigan and 2014 Outdoor NCAA qualifier Antonio James of Michigan State.
Women’s 1500m (Saturday Â• 7:55 p.m.)
A pair of Olympians, Canadian Nicole Sifuentes and American Julie Culley, headline the women’s 1500m. The field also includes Rosie Clark of Iona, who finished fourth in the mile at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships and three of the top four finishers in the event at last year’s ACC Championships.
Women’s 4x400m Relay (Saturday Â• 8:30 p.m.)
Almost a year to the day since breaking the school record in the 4x400m relay, the Cavaliers will look to set a new mark against an elite field. The event includes the quartet from Vanderbilt that is currently ranked among the top 10 nationally.