May 24, 2018

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TAMPA, Fla.- Junior Hilmar Jonsson (Reykjavik, Iceland) led the Virginia men’s track and field team on the opening day of the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds at the USF Track and Field Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

With a fifth-place finish in the hammer throw, Jonsson was the team’s first competitor to advance to the NCAA Championships. He posted a mark 71.40m (234’3″) with his third and final attempt, qualifying in the hammer throw for the second consecutive year.

“Mr. Consistency (Hilmar Jonsson) had another great performance today,” assistant track and field coach Martin Maric said. “With the exception of one person, the top 14 in the nation are in the East Region. However, Hilmar never complains or tries to find excuses. He just goes out there and does what he came for.”

Freshman Alfred Shirley III (Chesapeake, Va.) and graduate student Mike Marsella (Hope Valley, R.I.) kept their NCAA hopes alive, advancing to the quarterfinals of the 400m dash and 1500m run, respectively. Shirley finished third in his heat and 14th overall with a career-best time of 46.08. His performance set a UVA freshman record. Marsella finished as the 23rd seed in the 1500m, advancing with his time of 3:47.40.

Redshirt sophomore Sam Young (Lewes, Del.) cleared a height of 5.15m (10’7.75), to place 15th in the pole vault.

In the men’s 10000m, sophomore Lachlan Cook (Brisbane, Australia) led the team with an 18th-place finish and a time of 30:03.14. Redshirt sophomore Alex Corbett (Burke, Va.) finished 33rd with a time of 30:47.02, while senior Chase Weaverling (Darnestown, Md.) placed 34th with a time of 30:47.79.

The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds serve as the qualifier for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. The top-12 finishers from each event will advance to the national meet.

The Cavaliers will return tomorrow for the second day of the three-day competition. The meet will begin with the men’s discus at 8:45 a.m.

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