April 28, 2018

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The UVA men’s track and field team concluded the Virginia Grand Prix on Saturday (April 28) at Lannigan Field, with several student-athletes capturing career-best performances.

“Each week is an opportunity to evaluate, correct and improve,” director of track and field Bryan Fetzer said. “We made some nice adjustments. They will pay off in the coming week.”

Junior Hilmar Jonsson (Reykjavik, Iceland) led the hammer throw through all six rounds of the event. He recorded his top mark of the day with his fifth throw, capturing a distance of 69.32m (227’5″) to finish first in the competition.

Redshirt sophomore John Pace (Chantilly, Va.) finished first in the 5000m run with a time of 14:42.70. Pace moved into first at the 4600m mark with a split of 13:39.73 before racing to the finish line a lap later to win by a half a second.

Setting a freshman record in the 400m hurdles, Alfred Shirley III (Chesapeake, Va.) recorded a time of 51.30 to place third in the meet. His performance ranks 10th in the East Region and fifth in UVA history.

Junior Emmanuel Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.) placed second in the 110m hurdles, recording a time of 14.39. He was the top collegiate student-athlete in the event finishing behind Jamaica’s Ramoye Simon.

In the men’s shot put invitational, redshirt junior Oghenakpobo Efekoro (Brooklyn, N.Y.) placed second in the event, behind former UVA student-athlete Jordan Young. Efekoro recorded a mark of 18.71m (61’4.75″) for his second-place finish. Junior Nace Plesko (Ljubljana, Slovenia) finished third with a mark of 17.33m (56’10.25″).

In addition to his shot put performance, Plesko recorded a personal-best throw of 55.19m (181’1″) in the discus. His throw ranks seventh in school history and 20th in the East Region.

Redshirt junior James Williams (Radford, Va.) finished second in the shot put with a season-best performance of 16.38m (53’9″).

Freshman Jordan Willis (Williamsburg, Va.) ran a career-best time of 47.11 in the 400m dash, finishing third in the event. His performance is the fourth fastest by a freshman in school history and ranks 10th all-time at UVA.

Missing a personal-best performance by less than four-tenths of a second, redshirt sophomore Matthew Novak (Glen Allen, Va.) placed third in the 1500m run with a time of 3:45.72.

“Any time we have the opportunity to compete at Lannigan Field it is awesome,” Fetzer said. “It was a beautiful day for our student-athletes that are finishing up their careers with a final competition.”

Virginia will return to action on May 10th for the ACC Championships. The three-day meet will be held in Coral Gables, Fla.