May 26, 2018
TAMPA, Fla.- Sophomore Jordan Scott (Portmore, Jamaica), redshirt junior Oghenakpobo Efekoro (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and graduate student Mike Marsella (Hope Valley, R.I.) led the Virginia men’s track and field team on the final day of the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds at the USF Track and Field Stadium.
For the second consecutive year, Scott qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the triple jump. He posted the meet’s fourth-best jump, recording a season-best mark of 16.19m (53’1.5″) on his last attempt.
Efekoro also captured a season-best mark on his way to qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the shot put. He recorded a distance of 19.70m (64’7.75″) to finish fifth in the competition, earning his third NCAA outdoor appearance in the event.
Marsella recorded his first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, advancing to the national meet with a time of 3:47.55 in the 1500m. He ran the fifth-fastest time in his heat and the 16th-best time overall.
“It’s great to have young and old earning a spot for the first time,” director of track and field Bryan Fetzer said. “I’m very excited for Mike (Marsella), who represents our first class and the start, while Alfred (Shirley) is a part of the bright future of the program. Pobo (Efekoro) and Jordan (Scott), both, are coming around at the right time as they have battled injuries all year. They are both on the upward swing when it counts.”
Earlier in the week, junior Hilmar Jonsson (Reykjavik, Iceland) and freshman Alfred Shirley III (Chesapeake, Va.) punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships. Jonsson finished fifth in the hammer throw, recording a mark of 71.40m (234’3″). In the 400m dash, Shirley set the school record with a time of 45.84, posting the 11th-fastest run in the quarterfinals.
Virginia rounded out the day with the men’s 4x400m relay team of freshman Jordan Willis (Williamsburg, Va.), Shirley, freshman Brandon Outlaw (Moorestown, N.J.) and redshirt junior Jack Lint (Westerville, Ohio), respectively, placing 15th with a time of 3:09.27.
Junior Nace Plesko (Ljubljana, Slovenia) placed 30th in the shot put. He recorded a mark of 17.45m (57’3″).
Redshirt sophomore Ari Klau (West Hartford, Conn.) finished 45th in the 5000m, running a time of 15:07.20.
The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds serve as the qualifier for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. The top-12 finishers from each event advanced to the national meet.
Virginia will return to action at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. The four-day national meet will begin on June 6.