ATLANTA, GA. – The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams completed the first day of action at the 2024 ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday (May 9) as Will Anthony and John Fay earned spots on the podium in the 10,000m and hammer throw at the George C. Griffin Track & Field Facility on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga.

Silver for Anthony

  • Will Anthony ran an impressive race in the men’s 10,000m to close out the first day of competition.
  • The New Zealand native stuck with the leaders to ultimately cross the line in 29:18.80. His time was five seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
  • Anthony recorded the fastest final lap of any athlete in the race, closing in 1:00.97 for 400 meters.
  • Not far behind was Justin Wachtel in fifth place with an exhilarating performance. Crossing the line in 29:47.41 for an almost 30 second personal best, Wachtel scored important points for the Cavalier men.

Bronze for Fay

  • John Fay threw for 66.55m/218-4 in the men’s hammer throw to finish third and earn the bronze medal.
  • Fay wasted no time getting his mark on the board as the sophomore threw his podium worthy mark on his first attempt of the competition.
  • Despite fouling three of six appearances in the ring, all three of his legal marks were further than 65m.

Dominance in the 1500
Seven of Virginia’s eight 1500 runners between the men’s and women’s teams advanced to the finals of the 1500 meters on Saturday.

  • Wes Porter and James Donahue led things off for the Cavaliers in the second heat as the duo secured automatic qualifying positions to Saturday’s final. Porter won the heat clocking 3:43.07 with Donahue in third with his time of 3:44.21.
  • Gary Martin impressed again, winning the third and final heat crossing the line in 3:43.52.
  • On the women’s side, Virginia will send all four athletes in Caroline Timm, Margot Appleton, Maggie Hock and Anna Workman through to the final.
  • Appleton and Hock went 1-2 in the first heat as the two cruised to 4:28.31 and 4:29.88 respectively.
  • Timm would not be denied as she notched a new personal-best of 4:15.16 to finish third in her heat and third overall.

Survive and Advance

  • With the field to his back in lane 8, Alex Sherman executed a smart race to qualify for the men’s 400m hurdles final crossing the line in 51.21.
  • Sherman won the third and final heat of competition to finish third overall to earn an automatic qualification to Saturday’s final.
  • In the women’s 400m hurdles, Emily Alexandru secured the final qualifying spot to the final. Alexandru finished second in her heat crossing the line in a season-best 58.90.
  • Sarah Akpan battled to the finish to grab the final time qualifying position in the women’s 200m dash. Akpan crossed the line in new personal-best 23.48 to finish third in her heat and seventh overall. She moves up to sixth all-time in Virginia history.

Combined Events Update

  • Ethan Robinson and David Frasier opened competition in the men’s decathlon with new personal-best times in the 100m dash. Robinson clocked 10.69 for second while Frasier crossed the line in 11.10 for seventh.
  • On his first attempt in the competition, Robinson leapt out 6.69m/21-11.50 which was good for fifth place and 741 points. Despite fouling his first jump, Frasier came back on his final attempt to reach 6.63m/21-9 which was good for sixth place and 727 points.
  • In their third event of the day, Robinson and Frasier recorded season and personal best marks. Robinson launched one out 12.07m/39-7.14 for a season-best and sixth place finish while Frasier cleared new personal-best 13.41/44-0 for fourth.
  • The dynamic duo continued to dominate the competition as Robinson cleared 1.95m/6-4.75 with Frasier over the bar at 1.83m/6-0. Robinson’s mark was good for third and Frasier’s was good for sixth place.
  • Robinson concluded the first day of competition on a high note by winning the 400m dash. Robinson catapulted from behind to cross the line in new personal-best 48.09. Frasier completed the one lap race in 51.67.
  • Robinson ended his day in 3rd place with 3946 points ahead of Frasier in sixth place with 3649 points in the decathlon.
  • Elsa Spoor ended her day in seventh place in the heptathlon with 2753 points. Spoor started by posting a time of 16.63 in the 100m hurdles and marked a personal-best in the high jump clearing 1.73m/5-8. Spoor ended the day clearing throwing for 8.36m/27-5.25 in shot put and running a new personal-best 25.97 in the 200 meters.
  • Spoor recorded a new personal-best in two of four events contested on the first day of competition in the women’s heptathlon.

More Highlights:

  • The Virginia men sit in 4th place with 20 points and the women sit in 8th with 5 points after the first day of competition.
  • Camryn Menninger stunned the field running a 16 second personal best to finish fourth in the women’s 10,000m. Menninger, who came into the meet seeded 11th, clocked 34:11.41 for the 25 lap race to break into the top-five.
  • In their outdoor ACC debut, freshmen Gage Gose and Brooke’Lyn Drakeford recorded new personal bests in the men’s and women’s 400m hurdles prelim. Gose crossed the line in 52.38 to finish 11th while Drakeford cleared the 10 hurdles in 1:01.57 which was good for 17th overall.
  • Gose and Drakeford etched their names in the Virginia freshman record book as Gose becomes the third fastest freshman all-time and Drakeford the fourth in program history.
  • Justin Rogers put points on the board for the Cavaliers in the men’s pole vault. Rogers cleared 4.98m/16-4 to finish seventh in the field. Rogers cleared his opening height of 4.83m/15-10 on his second attempt before clearing 4.98m on his third go at the bar.
  • In the women’s 200m dash, Kayla Bonnick recorded a season-best 24.02.
  • Jacob Hunter ran a new personal-best 30:12.62 in the men’s 10,000m to finish 12th.

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. While two opportunities remain to earn points (track & field and baseball), Virginia has already clinched the title with 12 points to Virginia Tech’s 6.5.

Up Next:
The ACC Outdoor Championships will resume tomorrow (May 10) beginning with the men’s javelin at 10 a.m.