BLACKSBURG, Va. — The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams completed the first of two competition days at the Hokie Invitational on Friday (Jan. 19) at Rector Field House. The Cavaliers finished the day with 1-2 finishes in both the unseeded pole vault and weight throw, thanks to stellar performances from Gabriella Recce and John Fay.  

Recce Soars to Pole Vault Victory 

  • Gabriella Recce opened her 2024 campaign with a victory in the unseeded pole vault, marking a clearance of 4.00 meters (13’ 1.5”). Recce becomes just the sixth Cavalier to hit the four-meter mark tying teammate Hanne Borstlap for fifth on the all-time indoor performance list.  
  • Caroline Dannenbaum wasn’t far behind, the junior cleared 3.85m (12’ 7.5”) to take second place in the event. 
  • Also competing in the jumps for the Cavaliers was Makaiah Lee who made her second UVA appearance in the long jump placing eighth with a mark of 5.73 meters (18’ 9.75”). 

Fay Triumphs in Weight Throw 

  • John Fay and Jacob Lemmon dominated the men’s weight throw as Fay edged the victory, marking a personal-best of 20.98 meters (68’ 10”).  
  • Lemmon placed second with his best throw of 20.86 meters (68’ 5.25”) to complete a 1-2 sweep for the Cavaliers. 
  • In Fay’s first competition of the season, his mark cemented his fourth-place spot in the indoor performance list, improving from 20.72m (67’ 11.75”) at the ACC indoor championships in 2023 where he placed seventh.  
  • Bree Lumpkin placed 13th in a competitive field, throwing 16.78m (55’ .75”) in the weight throw. 

Sprints Squad Displays Depth 

  • Peter Djan once again impressed in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, advancing to the finals and placing fifth with his time of 8.04 seconds. The Cavalier sophomore doubled in the 60-meter dash missing the finals by just two positions.  
  • Kayla Bonnick and Sarah Akpan went 1-2 in their heat of the 60m prelims, both advancing to the final. Bonnick went on to a sixth-place finish in the final with a time of 7.54 seconds.  
  • Brooke’Lyn Drakeford clocked a personal best in the 60m hurdle prelims, clocking in at 9.12. 

Akpan and Pendarvis Impress Over 300 Meters 

  • Sarah Akpan won her heat and took fourth place in the women’s 300m finals with a time of 39.08. An impressive finish for the Virginia sophomore, Akpan’s performance was just .05 seconds off the Virginia record in the event.  
  • Jay Pendarvis hit a personal best in the 300m with a time of 34.42 to take sixth place. 
  • Akpan also placed seventh in the 60-meter dash final after posting the second-fastest qualifying time. 

Illnicki-Lambert Leads Milers 

  • Luci Illnicki-Lambert powered to a win in the third heat of the women’s mile clocking a personal-best time of 5:00.15 and leading the Cavalier distance squad on the first day of competition.  
  • Running in the same heat, Katie Dorsey finished fifth alongside Lila Fenner, in tenth. 

Up Next: 
The Cavaliers will be back in action at the Hokie Invitational tomorrow (Jan. 20) when competition opens with the women’s pole vault invitational at 11:30 a.m.