CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams closed competition on the second day of the Virginia Challenge Friday (April 21). The second of three competition days was jam-packed with impressive performances from the Cavaliers as Alix Still and Margot Appleton set school records while Ethan Dabbs kickstarted his season in the javelin.

Dabbs looked to be in true mid-season form competing at the Virginia Challenge. The NCAA runner-up and USATF Champion launched a season-best mark of 80.82 meters (265’2”) – a performance that bested a Lannigan Field and Virginia Challenge record which he set this time last season. The mark is the best in the ACC this season and ranks second in NCAA Division I. Tyler Zawatski threw a personal best of his own placing sixth with a mark of 63.65 meters (208’10”).

Margot Appleton put down a historic performance in the women’s 5000-meter invitational. Virginia’s stellar sophomore broke a long-standing Virginia record in the event posting 15:36.28 to cruise to a victory and surpass Margaret Groos’ record set in 1980. The time currently ranks second in the ACC and ninth in NCAA Division I. On the men’s side of the event, Derek Johnson and Jack Eliason went 2-3 as each posted impressive personal bests of 13:45.51 and 13:47.07 respectively. Derek Johnson now ranks fifth on the Virginia all-time list while Eliason ranks sixth.

The Cavaliers continued to turn up the heat in the men’s and women’s 800 meters. Esther Seeland marked her second consecutive personal-best in the event as she placed fourth overall and posted the second-fastest time in UVA history at 2:04.21. The men’s side brought the heat as well. Conor Murphy placed second in a dead-heat finish posting a time of 1:47.27 which ranks fifth all time at Virginia. Kenton Bachmann and Liam Bellamy each recorded personal bests as well clocking 1:48.87 and 1:49.09 respectively.

Alix Still continued an impressive performance in the women’s heptathlon. Still picked up the competition in fifth place after the opening day of competition that featured a personal-best time in the 100-meter hurdles of 13.68 seconds, a time that ranks fifth all-time at UVA. The second day opened with the long jump where Still leaped 6.04 meters. The Scotland native then capped her performance with a personal-best in the javelin throwing 37.77 meters (123’11”) and a strong showing in the 200 running 2:15.85.

Still’s point total of 5662 sets a Virginia women’s heptathlon record surpassing Rebecca Grube’s mark of 5512 set in 1994. Still now holds the Virginia record in both the outdoor heptathlon and the indoor heptathlon which she set at the ACC Indoor Championships in February with her score of 4177.

In the men’s 1500 meters, Gary Martin turned in a stellar performance. The first-year broke his own freshman record in his second-place finish clocking 3:39.53 and moved into second all-time at UVA. Nate Mountain also came in under the 3:40 mark clocking a personal best of 3:39.68 to move into third on the Virginia performance list.

In the women’s discus, Ashley Anumba won the event at the Virginia Challenge for the second consecutive season. This time, Anumba threw a meet record of 58.92 meters (193’4”). The throw was just five feet short of the Lannigan Field record. Following Anumba was Janae Profit placing third with a personal-best mark of 51.48 meters (168’11”).

Kayla Bonnick placed second in the women’s 100-meter dash clocking a personal-best time of 11.42 seconds to move into third all-time at Virginia. Jada Seaman placed fourth with a time of 11.47 while Jada Pierre ran a personal-best of 11.62.

Sam Romano impressed in the women’s pole vault. The first-year won the event and set a UVA freshman record clearing 4.20 meters (13’9.25”) matching her personal best from an impressive indoor campaign. Romano now trails only Bridget Guy on the UVA all-time performance list.

Sophomore Jordan Hardy soared to a huge personal best in the triple jump. Hardy won the event posting a mark of 13.41 meters (44’0”), the second-best mark in Virginia history. The mark currently leads the ACC and is tied for No. 10 on the NCAA Division I outdoor list.

Up Next:
The Virginia Challenge will resume tomorrow (April 22) at 12 p.m. with the 100-meter hurdles and the women’s high jump invitational.