LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams closed competition at the ACC Indoor Championships on Saturday (Feb. 25) where Conor Murphy and Esther Seeland each won silver in the 800 meters. The Virginia men finished sixth overall while the women placed ninth.
In the 800 meters, Esther Seeland led things off in the women’s race as she continued her historic season for the Cavaliers. In an extremely talented field that included last season’s NCAA champion, Lindsey Butler, Seeland made a late push to finish second posting a school record time of 2:03.43. The performance marked the third time Seeland broke the UVA record this season.
On the men’s side, Conor Murphy ran an excellent race of his own, posting a personal best of 1:47.33 to win silver. “I knew the race was going to go really fast,” said Murphy. “I was in fourth place after that first lap which isn’t where I wanted to be, but the rest was just staying in position and waiting for the last lap. I made two big moves on the last lap and I think I did pretty well with that.” he said.
The Cavalier men racked up a total of 13 points in the men’s mile as a squad of Wes Porter, James Donahue, Jack Eliason, Nate Mountain and Gary Martin made up half of the field of 10 runners. Mountain took hold of an early lead running well ahead of the pack in the early stages of the race. However, at the finish it was Porter leading the Cavaliers as he took third posting 3:59.59 to win Bronze. Following Porter in fourth place was Donahue who posted 4:00.11 to earn second-team All-ACC honors. Eliason placed seventh clocking 4:02.40 to add on two more points for the Cavaliers.
Virginia freshman, Justin Rogers, made Virginia history in the pole vault. Rogers posted a personal-best mark of 5.18 meters (17’0”) becoming the first-ever Cavalier freshman to clear 17 feet. The performance saw Rogers tie for third place in the event and earn first team All-ACC honors. His mark ranks fourth all-time at Virginia.
In the men’s triple jump, Owayne Owens cleared a distance of 16.28 meters (53’5”) which earned the graduate student first team All-ACC honors in a third-place finish. The performance marks the fourth-consecutive indoor season in which Owens has made first team All-ACC.
In the women’s 3000 meters, Margot Appleton raced to a fourth-place finish in the 3000-meters as she bested her own Virginia record posting 9:04.17. The performance earns Appleton second team All-ACC honors.
In the women’s 60-meter dash Kayla Bonnick placed sixth earning second team All-ACC honors as she matched a personal-best of 7.39 seconds. Jada Seaman followed in seventh posting 7.49 to help the Cavaliers secure five points from the event.
In the women’s 4×400 meters, the Cavaliers posted 3:39.65 in a sixth-place finish to take three points from the event. That time ranks second in UVA history. On the men’s side, the Cavaliers also placed sixth clocking 3:13.36 to earn three points.
Overall, seven Cavaliers won medals receiving first team All-ACC honors including Alix Still (Pentathlon), Jacob Lemmon (Weight Throw), Wes Porter (Mile), Esther Seeland (800 meters), Conor Murphy (800 meters), Justin Rogers (Pole Vault) and Owayne Owens (Triple Jump).
Five more receive second-team All-ACC nods for finishing in places four through six. Those include James Donahue (Mile), Kayla Bonnick (60 meters), Margot Appleton (3000 meters), Ethan Robinson (Heptathlon) and Sam Romano (Pole Vault).
From Director of Track & Field Vin Lananna:
“There was a lot to be proud of this weekend from both teams. The student athletes competed very well across event areas and displayed a strong Virginia presence throughout the meet. Championship teams are built upon solid foundations. Our foundation this indoor season was superb and strong. I am optimistically looking forward to the NCAA meet and the outdoor season.”
Women’s Final Team Scores
Virginia Tech – 93
Duke – 91
Clemson – 68
NC State – 61
Miami – 60
Florida State – 53
Notre Dame – 53
Louisville – 42
Virginia – 39.5
North Carolina – 32
Pitt – 23
Georgia Tech – 17
Boston College – 11
Syracuse – 11
Wake Forest – 8.5
Men’s Final Team Scores
Virginia Tech – 110.5
Florida State – 76
Clemson – 74.5
North Carolina – 63
Virginia – 49.5
Miami – 39
Wake Forest – 35
Syracuse – 30
Pitt – 28
NC State – 27
Notre Dame – 24
Duke – 18
Georgia Tech – 14
Boston College – 2
The Smithfield Commonwealth Clash
The Smithfield Commonwealth Clash, originally called the Commonwealth Challenge (2005-2007), has been a part of the UVA-Virginia Tech rivalry since 2014. It is an all-sports, points-based program with the Commonwealth Clash trophy presented to the winning school each year for its dominance in head-to-head competitions. In men’s and women’s track and field, the points are awarded to the team that finishes highest at the ACC Championships.
With Virginia Tech’s sweep of the ACC team titles, the Hokies leveled the score in the Commonwealth Clash at 6.0 points each.