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April 17, 2015

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CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s track and field team set a pair of school records Friday night during the opening day of the Virginia Challenge at Lannigan Field. The records in the 4x100m relay and pole vault were set as the Cavaliers competed against over 1,300 athletes from 35 schools at the prestigious meet.

The 4x100m relay of Peyton Chaney (Belleville, Ill.), Andrea Wright (Chesapeake, Va.), Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.) and Tori McKenzie (Chatham, Va.) became the first UVa quartet to run under 45 seconds, crossing in 44.75 and breaking a record that has stood for 20 years. First-year Bridget Guy (Greensburg, Pa.) broke the school record in the pole vault by clearing 12-7.5.

“It was a great day for the women to break two school records,” said head coach Bryan Fetzer. “Bridget Guy has been as consistent as a freshman can be, continuing to improve all the time. The great thing about her is her ability to perform when she needs to, as evidenced by her winning a state championship in high school last year. She is going to continue to break that record again and again. The 4×1 record has been in the works for a while and we expected it to happen. That time will definitely get us in the NCAA meet and now it is a matter of continuing to get better.”

Virginia’s pole vaulters had a strong performance in both of the day’s sections. Guy’s school record of 12-7.5 in the evening session placed her sixth at the meet. During the afternoon section, both Katie Freix (Chantilly, Va.) and Sarah DeVita (Ridgewood, N.J.) cleared 12-0.5. With that performance, Freix joined DeVita in the top five on UVa’s all-time list and it was the second-best mark by a UVa freshman, behind Guy.

Winning an event for the Cavaliers was Lavender in the 400m. Her time of 53.08 was a season-best and moves her into the top 15 nationally in the event this season.

Iona Lake (Norwich, England) moved into third all-time at Virginia in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. She crossed in 10:01.58, finishing second at the meet behind reigning NCAA Champion Leah O’Connor of Michigan State.

“What our athletes need to remember was last year, this weekend was the ACC meet,” said Fetzer. “We still have four weeks before this year’s conference meet. It is very encouraging to see where we are at this point of the season. We will look forward to another great day, in front of another great crowd, tomorrow night.”

The Virginia Challenge concludes Saturday at Lannigan Field. Events begin at 9 a.m. with the featured events in the Main Event beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

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