CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams opened the weekend’s competition on Friday (Feb. 17) as both the men’s and women’s DMR squads posted impressive times that inch each team closer to a spot in the NCAA Championships.

Arkansas Qualifier (Fayetteville, Ark.):
The Cavalier men kicked off the weekend of competition with a historic performance in the distance medley relay at the Arkansas Qualifier. A Virginia team of Conor Murphy, Alex Sherman, Gary Martin and Wes Porter posted a school-record time of 9:23.71 to put Virginia at the top of the ACC in the event and fourth in the NCAA.

The race produced five of the fastest distance medley relay times so far this season. Oklahoma State (9:16.40) and Washington (9:16.65) each ran faster than the previous collegiate record. Arkansas (9:22.13) placed third followed by Virginia (9:23.71) and Alabama (9:24.63). Virginia’s school-record time has the Cavaliers ranked seventh all-time among collegiate programs in the event.

Alex Sherman split 46.37 in the 400 leg while Gary Martin ran the 800 leg in 1:48.57. Each ran faster than their personal best in each respective event.

JDL DMR Invitational (Winston-Salem, N.C.):
The Cavalier women took a squad of Esther Seeland, Emily Alexandru, Keara Seasholtz and Margot Appleton to the JDL Fast Track to compete in the distance medley relay. Powered by strong performances across the board, the Cavaliers took second place while posting a time of 11:02.00.

Virginia’s time is the fastest it has run in 2023 and ranks third all-time at UVA while putting the Cavaliers in contention for a bid to the NCAA Championships in March.

The Cavaliers finished second to NC State (10.55.49) which posted the second fastest time in the NCAA this season. The Cavaliers trail only the Wolfpack at the top of ACC rankings this season.

Virginia Tech Challenge (Blacksburg, Va.):
In the men’s pole vault, Justin Rogers placed sixth while soaring to a personal-best mark of 5.10 meters (16’8.75”). The mark ties Sam Young for the Virginia freshman record in the event which was set in the 2017 season.

Jada Pierre set a personal-best time in the 60 meters posting 7.52, while in the 400 meters Jaden Lyons (48.40) and Evans White IV (48.58) each set personal bests of their own as the pair of freshmen finished second and third respectively.

In the 800 meters, Alahna Sabbakhan came home with a victory while Anzhelika Parenchuk won the 400 meters.

From Director of Track & Field Vin Lananna:
“I am especially pleased with the performances we saw from our men and women in the DMR today. Both teams established themselves in the rankings at both the conference and national level. Our men rank first in the ACC and our women rank second and we look forward to the opportunity to compete at the ACC Championships next weekend.”

Up Next:
The Cavaliers will be back in action tomorrow (Feb. 18) to conclude competition at the Virginia Tech Challenge at Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va.