CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia director of track & field and cross country Vin Lananna has signed a two-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season, director of athletics Carla Williams announced today (Sept. 15).
“Vin has done an amazing job in the two years he has directed our programs,” Williams said. “We have seen many outstanding performances from our student-athletes across numerous events. He is one of the top coaches in the country because of his ability to help student-athletes maximize their talent. We are fortunate to have him at UVA and we’re very excited about the future of Virginia track & field and cross country.”
Under Lananna’s direction, the Cavalier programs have achieved remarkable results.
The UVA women’s outdoor track and field team tied for 16th at the NCAA Championships, the best finish since 1983. Combined with the men’s finish (28th), it was the best overall program showing at the NCAA Championships in program history.
The highlight of the spring came when Michaela Meyer became UVA’s first individual women’s track and field champion when she won the NCAA 800-meter title. She was one of eight Cavalier women to earn All-America status in 12 different events. The men’s program saw five athletes achieve All-America accolades. Meyer was also one of six Cavaliers to compete at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials.
UVA won seven ACC outdoor individual titles and two indoor championships. UVA sent 36 competitors to the NCAA East Preliminary Championships, the most ever in program history.
The Cavalier men’s and women’s middle distance performers and relay teams especially took aim at some long-standing UVA records. Meyer toppled the 800 and 1500 marks, eventually running the second-fasted 1,500-meter time by a collegiate. Derek Johnson made huge strides in the 3000-meter steeplechase, racing all the way to the finals of the Olympic Trials. Both the UVA women’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams posted multiple school record performances on the way to post-season honors. Throws, sprints and jumps all witnessed outstanding efforts to post new marks in the Virginia record books.
During the indoor season, the UVA women had nine individuals and a relay team earn All-ACC honors, the most in a single-season in program history. Combined with the men, a total of 16 student-athletes earned All-ACC accolades. The UVA women finished third at the ACC Indoor Championships to record their best result in 26 years. UVA had three women earn All-American status at the indoor championships, the most since 2011.
The program saw three indoor records and 11 outdoor records in 2021.
“Returning to coaching has really energized me,” Lananna said. “I am so proud of the efforts and achievements of our student-athletes. These are some remarkable young people we get to work with every day and their commitment to excellence in athletics and academics is unmatched. I think we’ve started something really special at Virginia and really look forward to what we can accomplish, especially in the setting of such a great running community.”
The academic accomplishments of Lananna’s teams have been equally as impressive.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams earned 2020 NCAA Division I All-Academic Team honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Meyer was the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, just the second Cavalier woman to win the award for the sport.
The women’s indoor track and field team had eight student-athletes receive All-ACC Academic team honors while six were recognized from the men’s indoor program. The combination of 14 student-athletes from the two teams is the most in UVA indoor track and field history.
A total of 12 women and eight men were named to the outdoor All-ACC Academic team. Both of those total number of selections are the highest for each program since the ACC began announcing the teams in 2006.
One of Lananna’s passion is the upcoming 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships set to be held on UVA’s home course at Panorama Farms. He has created a task force to ensure a top-flight event the Charlottesville community can embrace and make memorable for the teams and individuals who will race for their sport’s top prize.