BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams opened the indoor season on Friday (Jan. 15) at the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Rector Field House in Blacksburg. The Cavaliers won six events on the opening day as several athletes captured strong performances to start off the 2021 season.

Junior Owayne Owens (Montego Bay, Jamaica) won the triple jump with a career-best performance in the event. Owens opened the indoor season by tying his career-best mark of 16.25m (53’3.75”) from the 2020 ACC Championships, before besting the performance by four inches two rounds later with a jump of 16.35m (53’7.75”).

Freshman Nadia Saunders (Stony Point, N.Y.) won her first collegiate event with the top mark in the women’s triple jump. She recorded a jump of 11.86m (38’11”) to win the event by six inches.

Senior Halle Hazzard (Commack, N.Y.) paced the sprinters with a pair of first-place finishes. She ran a time of 7.31 to top the 60m dash and a time of 39.14 to win the 300m dash. Kayla Bonnick (St. Catherine, Jamaica) recorded the program’s ninth-best time in the 60m dash as the freshman finished second in the event with a time of 7.54.

The Cavaliers finished 1-2 in both men’s and women’s unseeded pole vault. Junior Kane Aldrich (Naples, Fla.) tied his career-best jump at the meet with a height of 4.90m (16’0.75”) to win the men’s competition. Junior Colin Duignan (Bronxville, N.Y.) finished second with a height of 4.75m (15’7”). On the women’s side, sophomore Riley Larsen (Point Pleasant, N.J.) cleared 3.67m (12’0.5”) to finish first, while freshman Trina Barcarola (Scranton, Penn.) cleared 3.52m (11’6.5”) for second place.

• Junior Owayne Owens (Montego Bay, Jamaica) recorded a career-best triple jump mark of 16.35m (53’7.75”). His performance ranks third all-time at UVA, a rank he held coming into the meet.
• Redshirt freshman Jacob Lemmon (Sanibel, Fla.) threw 18.70m (61’4.25”) in the weight throw to record UVA’s fifth all-time best mark by a performer in the event, while graduate student Ty Kunzman’s (Spencer, N.Y) 18.19m (59’8.25”) ranks seventh all-time and redshirt freshman Claudio Romero’s (Santiago, Chile) 17.50m (57’5”) ranks 10th all-time.
• Freshman Kayla Bonnick (St. Catherine, Jamaica) ran a time of 7.54 in the 60m dash, tying for the ninth-fastest time in program history in the event.
• Sophomore Kane Aldrich (Naples, Fla.) tied his career-best performance in the pole vault, clearing a height 4.90m (16’0.75”).

Quote from Vin Lananna
“After almost a full year of no competition, our student-athletes took advantage of this great opportunity to compete at a great facility,” director of track & field and cross country/associate athletics director of administration Vin Lananna said. “Every event group shined. Owayne Owens jumped 53’7.75” for a personal best in his opening meet and led a parade of personal bests. I am very proud of our team in every event.”

The Cavaliers will return to action tomorrow for day two of the Virginia Tech Invitational. Field events will begin at 11 a.m. as events on the track start at 1 p.m.