CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams closed out a stellar weekend of competition at the 2024 Virginia Challenge on Friday (April 20). The highly competitive meet culminated with the Cavaliers recognizing a standout senior class.

Cavaliers Bring The Speed

  • Sarah Akpan went two for two on the weekend winning the 100m dash Friday and the 200m dash on Saturday. Akpan bested the field in a new personal-best of 23.51 to remain ranked seventh all-time in program history.
  • Ariel Fletcher added her name to the record books in the women’s 200m dash clocking new personal-best 23.85 to become the third-fastest freshman in Virginia history in the event.
  • In the men’s 200m dash, Evans White IV sped to the finish in 21.26 (+2.0) for a new personal-best and rank seventh all-time in program history.
  • An excellent run in the men’s 110m hurdles from Jeremiah Wilson and Peter Djan as both recorded new personal-best times. Wilson crossed the line in 14.01 to finish second and move up to fourth on Virginia’s all-time performance list while Djan cleared the hurdles in 14.03 to finish third overall and move up to fifth all-time in program history.
  • Alex Sherman added another 400m hurdle victory to his name. Sherman crossed the line in a new personal-best of 50.54 to move up to third all-time in program history.
  • The trio of Emily Alexandru, Brooke’Lyn Drakeford and Elizabeth Imoh executed strong 400m hurdle races. Alexandru finished runner-up in a season-best 59.31 while Drakeford clocked 1:01.68 to finish sixth. Leaning at the line, Imoh clocked 1:02.89 to finish second in her heat and 13th overall.
  • In the women’s 100m hurdles, Elizabeth Imoh recorded a personal-best 14.32 to win her heat and finish 16th in a competitive field.
  • Both men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams finished runner-up to cap off the final day of competition. The men’s quartet recorded a season-best 3:09.13 while the women’s team clocked 3:40.89.

Setting the Standard

  • Carly Tarnetino cleared a huge personal-best 1.77m/5-9.75 in the women’s high jump competition. Tarntino finished second among the field to move up to seventh all-time in Virginia history.
  • Freshman duo Elsa Spoor and Grace Flynn went 1-2 in the women’s high jump. After clearing each height on her first attempt, Spoor cleared a new personal-best 1.69m/5-6.50 to best the field. Flynn tied for second clearing 1.64m/5-4.50 on her first attempt.
  • Mahkaia Lee and Jordan Hardy set personal bests in the women’s long jump competition. Lee leapt out 6.21m/20-4.50 to finish fourth just ahead of Hardy’s 6.14m/20-1.75 in fifth place.
  • On his final jump of the competition, Heldi Valikaj secured a fourth place finish in the men’s long jump leaping out to 7.38m/24-2.50.
  • In the women’s hammer throw, Bree Lumpkin launched one out 56.14m/184-2 in the women’s hammer throw for a season-best mark.
  • John Fay and Jacob Lemmon had a solid outing in the ring in the men’s hammer throw. Fay threw for 65.44m/214-8 to finish third just ahead of Lemmon in fourth throwing for 64.58m/211-10.
  • After a successful day on Friday, Janae Profit recorded a top-5 finish in the women’s shot put Saturday. Janae launched one out 15.21m/49-11 on her second throw to finish fourth overall. Brooke Lumpkin finished ninth in the field throwing for 14.57m/47-9.75.

The team honored 30 seniors at the conclusion of the meet. “It was great to honor our seniors and all they have done for the program during their time here. This year was special as it was the first class I saw all the way through. I am proud of all of their accomplishments,” said Director of Track & Field Vin Lananna.

From Director of Track & Field Vin Lananna
“I am proud of how the team competed this weekend across the board. Nate Mountain ran an outstanding race in the 3000m steeplechase to set the school record, achieve the Olympic Trials Standard and position himself No.1 in the ACC and NCAA. We saw Shane Cohen (800m), Alahna Sabbahkan (800m), Will Anthony (5000m), Andrew Jones (10,000m), Justin Rogers (Pole Vault), Jeremiah Wilson (110m Hurdles), Peter Djan (110m Hurdles), Alex Sherman (400m Hurdles), Carly Tarentino (High Jump), Ariel Fletcher (200m) and Evans White IV (200m)  improve their position or add their name to Virginia’s all-time performance list. This group shows the team’s versatility and strength. We look forward to carrying this momentum forward and I am excited for what is to come.”

Up Next:
The Cavaliers will be back in action next week as the team travels to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to compete in the prestigious Penn Relays (April 25-27) before returning to Lannigan Field to host the Virginia High Performance meet on Sunday (April 28).