Cavaliers Head to Atlanta for ACC Championships

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - This weekend, the Virginia Cavaliers travel to George C. Griffin Track on the campus of Georgia Tech to participate in the 2008 ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Live results can be found on www.flashresults.com.

The women enter the meet ranked No. 21 nationally, and have historically had excellent results throughout the championships. Over the course of the team’s participation in the meet, they have placed in the top three 15 times, and have never finished below seventh. From 1983 through 1987, the Cavaliers defended the ACC Champion title. While they were dethroned in 1988 by North Carolina, the women placed second under the leadership of Dennis Craddock and would remain second until 1990.

Last year, the women finished in sixth place with 69 points. The Cavaliers finished in the top three spots in five events, including a second place finish by Meghan Briggs in the javelin with a throw of 145’ 4.” The team placed in the top eight in 15 events.

The men’s team finished in fourth place at ACCs last year with a total of 81 points. Yemi Ayeni’s 181’10” discus throw and Jan Foerster’s time of 14:07.16 in the 5,000 meter run pushed them both to first place finishes. Foerster and Kevin McHale finished in the runner up spots in the steeplechase and the 1500m, with times of 8:45.61 and 3:47.33, respectively.

While the men’s team has never taken the championship title, they took the runner-up spots in 1979 and 1984 and have placed third in the championships three times.

Thus far this season, five athletes on the men’s team, as well as Virginia’s 4x100m relay team, have given regional qualifying performances in six events. First-year Emil Heineking’s 14:11.40 finish in the 5000m at the 49er Classic not only qualified him for the regional meet, but also propelled him to the fourth best finish among ACC runners this year in that event. Ryan Collins holds the second place spot in the ACC for the 3000m with his time of 8:25.89 at the Missouri Dual.

Steve Finley holds the top time in the ACC so far this season in the steeplechase, with his finish of 9:05.40 at the Missouri Dual, and Yemi Ayeni holds the top spot in the discus with his throw of 59.92m at the Lou Onesty Invitational last weekend.

The women’s team features seven competitors who have qualified for the regional meet, as well as the 4x100m relay team. Of these seven athletes, Billie-Jo Grant has qualified for both the discus and the shot put with throws of 56.06m in the discus at the Hurricane Challenge and 15.53m in the shot put at the Missouri Dual. With these throws, Grant landed the second place throw in the ACC thus far this season in both the discus and the shot put, and earned the ACC Performer of the Week award for the week of April 1.

Meghan Briggs holds the top spot in the ACC in the javelin with her regional qualifying throw of 47.50m at the Lou Onesty Invitational. Additionally, Emily Harrison holds the top spot in the 10,000m with her provisional qualifying time of 33:40.34 from the Stanford Invitational. Fellow Cavaliers Kara Scanlin and Katie Read join Harrison in the 10K top times in second and third place, respectively. The women’s 4x100m relay team holds the third place spot in the ACC going into the meet this weekend with their finish of 45.50 at the Missouri Dual.

Events will begin Thursday at 9:00 a.m., and continue at 10:00 a.m., on Friday and Saturday. The weekend will conclude with the presentation of awards on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.