UVa's Vena Wins Gold, Breaks Records on Day 2 of ACC Tournament

April 20, 2012

Virginia track and field freshman Nick Vena won gold and broke the Virginia program and Lannigan Field records in the shot put as the Cavaliers completed action on the second day of the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday in Charlottesville.

After eight events, Virginia Tech’s men leads with 82 points, followed by Florida State (52), Virginia (40), Duke (39), North Carolina (23), Wake Forest (22), NC State (21), Clemson (10), Georgia Tech (10), Maryland (9) and Boston College (4).

On the women’s side, Duke leads with 55 points, followed by Virginia Tech (39), Clemson (37), Virginia (35), Florida State (34), NC State (33), Maryland (22), North Carolina (18), Georgia Tech (12), Miami (10), Wake Forest (9) and Boston College (8).

“This morning, we talked about for the finalists, make the most of the opportunity today and for running events, moving on to the finals,” director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer said. “We did both of those things today. We have a lot of people coming back tomorrow and had some great performances in the field events.”

Vena won the shot put with a mark of 19.51m (64’ 0.25”), which came on his second attempt. The mark ranks third in the nation and is the top freshman distance in the country. He had four throws in the sector further than his previous PR of 19.27m (63’ 2.75”), set last week at the Patriot Open Invitational.

“I’m very happy, I’ve been working hard to get it to come all together,” Vena said. “I’m going to continue to take it day-by-day, working on my technique. Every inch counts, so I’m going to keep going for it as far as I can.”

Senior Tara Karin and her sister, sophomore Abbey Karin placed third and fourth in the women’s javelin with marks of 44.81m (147’ 0”) and 42.43m (139’ 2”), respectively. Sophomore Logan Clements earned sixth with a PR of 39.48m (129’ 6”).

In the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Bryan Lewis placed fourth in a time of 9:01.36 and in the women’s shot put, junior Emily Vannoy finished seventh with a mark of 14.63m (48’ 0”), which came in her fifth attempt.

Freshman Jordan Lavender broke the Virginia freshman record in the women’s 400 meters with a time of 54.10, good enough to win her heat and move on to the final. Her time also ranks fifth best in school history overall.

Redshirt freshman Vanessa Fabrizio broke her own freshman record in the women’s 800 meters with a time of 2:06.76, coming from behind to edge Tiayonna Blackmon of NC State right at the finish line. Her time is also fifth-best in school history.

In the men’s 1,500 meters prelims, juniors Patrick Todd and Brett Johnson qualified for the finals by winning their heats in 3:47.65 and 3:48.04, respectively. Junior Morgane Gay won the first heat of women’s 1,500 meters in a time of 4:23.63 and will run for the title on Saturday.

Freshman Payton Hazzard crossed the line first in his heat of the men’s 400 meters in 47.43, the eighth-fastest time in program history and the third-fastest freshman time at UVa all-time. Senior Kevin Anding will also compete in the final after qualifying with a time of 47.92.

In the men’s 800 meters, senior Lance Roller and sophomore Anthony Kostelac each won their heats in time so 1:48.91 and 1:49.53, respectively.

Freshman Devin Brewer qualified for the finals in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.85, the fourth-fastest freshman in school history. On the women’s side in the 400-meter hurdles, senior Meagan Gillespie will be in tomorrow’s final with a time of 1:01.24.

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