CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams finished the opening day of competition at the Virginia Challenge at Lannigan Field on Friday (April 19). The highly competitive meet got off to a roaring start as Nate Mountain set the 3000m steeplechase school record in huge personal best.

School Record by Nate Mountain

  • In the men’s 3000m steeplechase invitational, Nate Mountain ran a 12 second personal-best to break Derek Johnson’s school record in the event. Mountain executed the race plan crossing the line in 8:20.68 to finish second in an extremely competitive field.
  • Mountain’s time ranks top in the ACC and NCAA this season as well as achieving the Olympic Trials Standard in the event.
  • In addition, Mountain time ranks 13th in the event in collegiate history.
  • Mountain finished just behind Matthew Wilkinson of Under Armour. Wilkinson ran 8:18.53 to set the Virginia Challenge and Lannigan Field record.
  • Rounding out the top-10 finishers in the event was Yasin Sado in ninth place in 8:34.08.

Dominant Distance Performances

  • Gary Martin and Shane Cohen stormed to the finish in the men’s 800m invitational. Martin crossed the line in new personal-best 1:47.46 to finish runner-up. Not far behind was Cohen in new personal-best 1:47.54 to finish third.
  • Martin remains ranked ninth all-time in Virginia history while Cohen etched his name in the record book at tenth all-time in program history.
  • Conor Murphy ran 1:48.79 in the men’s 800m invitational to finish in the top-15.
  • Will Anthony bested the field in the men’s 5000m by 15 seconds to take the win in 13:35.50. Anthony’s time ranks third all-time and first among freshman all-time in Virginia history.
  • Justin Wachtel ran a new personal-best 13:53.28 in the men’s 5000m invitational to finish fourth in a quick race. Jack Eliason recorded a top-10 finish clocking 13:59.52 to finish ninth overall.
  • Andrew Jones raced to new personal-best 29:05.56 in the men’s 10,000m invitational. Jones’ time was good for sixth in the field and seventh on Virginia’s all-time performance list.
  • In the women’s 800m invitational, Esther Seeland (2:03.72) and Alahan Sabbahkan (2:05.45) put together strong performances to finish third and fourth overall. Sabbahkan’s time was good for a new personal-best to move her up to sixth all-time in program history.
  • Keara Seasholtz rounded out the top-six finishers in the women’s 800m invitational crossing the line in 2:06.63.
  • In the women’s 5000m, Camryn Menninger (16:17.30) and Gillian Bushee (16:22.66) ran huge personal-best best times.

Sprints Showed Up

  • Sarah Akpan recorded the fastest qualifying time in the women’s 100m dash preliminary clocking 11.68 before besting the field in the final 11.58.
  • In the women’s 400m dash, Angel Parenchuck crossed the line in personal-best 55.22 to finish eighth, just behind her teammate Ariel Fletcher in seventh place in 55.15.
  • The men’s 400m dash saw Evans White IV equal his personal-best of 47.69 to win heat five and round out the top-five overall.

A Force in the Field

  • Justin Rogers cleared a huge personal-best 5.10m/16-8.75 on his first attempt at the height in the men’s pole vault invitational section. Rogers moves up from eighth to fifth all-time in Virginia history.
  • In the women’s pole vault invitational, Samantha Romano secured the victory clearing new personal-best 4.34m/14-2.75 to remain ranked second all-time in program history. Gabriella Recce cleared personal-best 3.99m/13-1 to finish in fifth place, just ahead of Hanne Borstlap (3.79m/12-5.25) in sixth.
  • On her final throw of the competition, Janae Profit threw a season-best 50.81m/166-8 to finish third overall.
  • Jacob Lemmon won the men’s discus throw on his fourth throw of the competition launching one out 57.81m/189-8.
  • Heldi Valikaj leapt out 15.23m/49-11.75 on his first attempt in the competition. Valikaj’s mark was good for a new personal-best.

Up Next:
The Virginia Challenge will resume tomorrow (April 20) with the women’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. The men’s 4x400m relay at 4:50 p.m. will signal the conclusion of the weekend. At the conclusion of the meet on Saturday, the team will honor the senior class.