Notre Dame, IN – The Virginia men’s and women’s track teams combined to win four gold medals during the second day of competition at the ACC Indoor Championships at Notre Dame’s Loftus Sports Center.
Entering the final round of competition on Saturday, the UVA men are in second place with 45 points, a single point behind tournament leading Florida State. Virginia Tech is in third place with 40 points. The Cavalier women moved up to sixth place with 22 total points. Louisville leads the women’s meet with 34.5 points while Duke is second at 34 points.
Freshman Derek Pekar (Ventura, Calif.) took over the lead in the heptathlon event to start the day with a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. He followed that up with a runner-up showing in the pole vault to give him a comfortable cushion heading into the 1000 meters, the heptathlon’s final event.
Pekar became just the second freshman to win the ACC heptathlon title and the first since 2008. His 5,362 points were enough to set a UVA freshman record. Fellow first-year Elby Omohundro (Midlothian, Va.) placed fourth in the competition with a personal best 5,038 points to earn second-team All-ACC honors.
The Cavaliers ended the day on just as strong of a note. Within minutes of each other, pole vaulter Sam Young (Lewes, Del.) and high jumper Brenton Foster won their events for the first time to combine for 20 of UVA’s total points.
Young, a senior, topped the field with a height of 5.38m (17’7.75″), setting a UVA school mark in the process. He became the first Virginia competitor to win the indoor pole vault since Henry Davenport and Clarence Roberts shared the crown in 1958.
Foster, who was the runner-up at last year’s championship, cleared 2.17m (7’1.5″) to claim the high jump title. The senior from Townsville, Australia, was the first Cavalier to win that competition since Herman Moore in 1990. Earlier this season Foster broke Moore’s long-standing record in the event with a clearance of 2.26m (7’5″).
The Cavalier women claimed the top two spots on the podium for the long jump competition. Freshman Jada Seaman (Pikesville, Md.) set the school record in the prelims with a leap of 6.46m (21’2.5″). She did not compete in the event finals while competing in the 200 meters that was taking place at the same time.
“It was a great day, in particular for all the jumps,” said Vin Lananna, UVA’s director of track & field and cross country/associate athletics director of administration. “I’ll tell you. It set the stage for the future of what we could be. It was exciting for a lot of ways. The two milers who made the finals, the dominance in the jumps. I’m very excited about what the future could be.”
Sophomore Khyasia Caldwell (Pocono Summit, Pa.) gave UVA a sweep of the top two spots by picking up runner-up honors with a personal best effort of 6.29m (20’7.75″).
Other top performance during the day including a fifth-place showing (7.56m/24’9.75″) by Jordan Scott (Portmore, Jamaica) in the long jump to take home second-team All-ACC honors. The reigning ACC triple jump champion, he will compete in that event on Saturday.
Several Hoos advanced to Saturday finals. Senior A.J. Ernst (Marblehead, Mass.) was ninth (4:08.80) in the prelims to move on to the finals in the mile. On the women’s side, graduate student Haley Yost (New Tripoli, Pa.) did the same with a third-place finish, posting a personal best time of 4:45.87.
The Cavaliers placed two runners from both teams in the finals of the 400 meters. Junior Jordan Willis (46.88) from Williamsburg, Va., and junior Brandon Outlaw (47.43) of Moorestown, N.J., advanced after placing third and seventh respectively in the prelims. Senior Andrenette Knight (Morant Bay, Jamaica) will be joined by senior Anna Jefferson (Warren, Mich.) following their fifth and eighth-place finishes. Knight clocked a personal best time of 53.50 while Jefferson grabbed the final spot from the heat races with a showing of 54.41. Jefferson also advanced in the 200 meters, finishing eighth in the prelims at 23.94.
Coverage of the final day of events on ACC Network Extra starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Play-by-play announcer Shawn Kenney will be joined by veteran analyst Larry Rawson and statistician/researcher Dave Milner from noon until the meet’s conclusion (approximately 4:30 p.m.) on Saturday.
The ACC Championships serve as the men’s and women’s matchup between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash. The Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Commonwealth Clash encourages a friendly, statewide rivalry between the two schools across all school-sponsored sports with 21 individual event points on the line. The school that accumulates 11 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy. Visit www.TheCommonwealthClash.com for more information and updated standings.