Feb. 25, 2017
Notre Dame, Ind. ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¢ÃƒÆ’Â¢’Â¬” In the 58-year history of the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Virginia had never finished better than third-place. Until Saturday. The No. 15 Cavaliers posted an all-time best score of 98 points to finish as the runners-up at this year’s meet.
Virginia’s final day of competition on Saturday was highlighted by wins by senior Filip Mihaljevic (Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the shot put and freshman Jordan Scott (Portmore, Jamaica) in the triple jump.
Mihaljevic’s victory was his third-straight crown in the event and his eighth overall in ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championship meets.
Mihaljevic helped UVA dominate the shot put event with his winning throw of 19.97 meters, his best performance of the season. He became the third UVA indoor track performer to win at least three championships in the same event. Greg Canty was a four-time champ in the 1000-meter run from 1977 to 1980 and Ryan Collins won three consecutive titles in the 5,000 meters from 2009 to 2011.
Junior Efekoro Oghenakpobo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished third in the shot put with a toss of 19.13 meters and sophomore Nace Plesko (Ljubljana, Slovenia) produced a personal best by finishing fifth at 17.87 meters that proved to be the sixth best mark at UVA. Redshirt sophomore James Williams (Radford, Va.) just missed out on an appearance in the finals when he placed 10th with a PR throw of 16.78 meters.
Freshman Jordan Scott (Portmore, Jamaica) earned UVA’s second title on the day by winning the triple jump with a mark of 16.11 meters. Junior Aaron Worrell (Fort Eustis, Va.) came in fourth at 15.87 meters.
Senior Henry Wynne (Westport, Conn.) made two trips to the medal podium, finishing second in the mile at 4:01.26 and placing third in the 3,000 meters at 8:06.20. Junior Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.) was eighth in the 3,000 finishing at 8:11.02.
Sophomore Emmanuel Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.) scored points in the 60-meter hurdles, placing eight at 8.24.
Also registering scoring performances were a pair of pole vault competitors. Redshirt freshman Sam Young (Lewes, Del.) placed sixth and junior Jeff Jernigan (DeKalb, Ga.) was seventh. Both had final clearances at 5.10 meters that were personal bests and figured as the third best marks in UVA history. Young’s mark bettered UVA freshman record he had set earlier in the season.
The meet wrapped up for UVA with a record-setting performance in the 4×400 meter relay. The quartet of sophomore Charles Bowman (Harrisburg, Pa.), senior Nathan Kiley (Chantilly, Va.), junior Logan Carrington (Leesburg, Va.) and sophomore Jake Dixon (Falmouth, Maine) placed sixth with a school record time of 3:11.93.
Virginia Tech used a strong final day to surge past the Cavaliers and win the team title with 109 points.
“To win a championship in a conference as competitive as the ACC takes special performances,” said Virginia coach Bryan Fetzer. “We had a great meet this weekend with a ton of amazing performances and not many mistakes or miscues, the problem was that Virginia Tech had a near perfect meet. The men showed a ton poise and togetherness. It will pay off. Our focus now turns to the NCAA Championships for this group. The uniqueness of our sport is the outdoor season starts right away so you have to have a short memory. We will be hungry and focused for sure.”
The meet also signified the men’s track and field matchups between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash, sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. By virtue of finishing ahead of UVA, the Hokies earned a point in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. The score for the Clash is now University of Virginia 5 and Virginia Tech 7. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at TheCommmonwealthClash.com.