CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The ACC recognized individual award winners for the 2022 outdoor track and field season on Thursday (June 23) as Virginia’s Claudio Romero was named ACC Men’s Field Performer of the Year while Mia Barnett was named ACC Women’s Freshman of the Year. Virginia’s two selections are the second-most among all schools as voted upon by the league’s coaches.
Romero claimed his first NCAA title in the discus this season as he bested the NCAA leader by just two centimeters with his mark of 66.17 meters (217’1”). The title capped an undefeated season for Romero in the discus which included a victory at the prestigious Penn Relays where the Chilean native set not only a meet record, but a UVA and ACC record at 67.02 meters (219’10”). The record-breaking throw was just one of Romero’s five attempts that surpassed the 65-meter mark this season. Romero also won his second-consecutive ACC discus title with a meet-record throw of 66.21 meters (217’3”).
After earning All-American honors during the indoor track and field campaign, Barnett carried her momentum into the outdoor season. The high point of her freshman campaign came at the Virginia Challenge where in the 1500 meters, Barnett finished as the top collegian with a time of 4:11.32 which ranked sixth in the NCAA this season and earned the freshman a trip to the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries. Barnett recorded second-team All-ACC honors in the 1500 meters with her fourth-place finish at the ACC Championships. She also set UVA freshman records in both the 800 meters (2:06.11), and the 1500 meters (4:11.32).
Barnett joins Morgane Gay, who received the honor in 2009, as the only UVA women to be named the ACC Women’s Freshman of the Year. Gay, who also specialized in middle-distance events, now ranks second all-time amongst UVA freshman in the 1500 meters and third overall after being passed by Barnett this season.
Romero becomes the third UVA male to be named the ACC Men’s Field Performer of the Year. He joins Jordan Scott, who claimed the award in 2019, and Filip Mihaljevic who earned the honor in 2016 and 2017. Romero’s selection marks the eighth time a Virginia track or field athlete has received the ACC Performer of the Year award.
ACC Outdoor Track & Field Season Honorees:
|Men’s Track Performer of the Year||Trey Cunningham||Florida State|
|Women’s Track Performer of the Year||Katelyn Touhy||NC State|
|Men’s Field Performer of the Year||Claudio Romero||Virginia|
|Women’s Field Performer of the Year||Gabriella Leon||Louisville|
|Men’s Co-Freshman of the Year||Sean Watkins Jr.||Florida State|
|Men’s Co-Freshman of the Year||Kahleje Tillmon||Virginia Tech|
|Women’s Freshman of the Year||Mia Barnett||Virginia|
|Men’s Coach of the Year||Bob Braman||Florida State|
|Women’s Coach of the Year||Amy Deem||Miami|