Cavaliers Announce Women's Recruiting Class

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's track and field and cross country program has received 11 commitments for the 2011-12 season, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Jason Vigilante announced today.

The group will consist of Shantell Bingham (Alexandria, Va.), Moira Cronin (Andover, Mass.), Sarah DeVita (Ridgewood, N.J.), Erica Dobbs (Richmond, Va.), Abbey Karin (Byfield, Mass.), Chelsea Larson (Yorbia Linda, Calif.), Jordan Lavender (Nashville, Tenn.), Maggie Loudon (Old Tappan, N.J.), Abbie McKinnery (Nashville, Tenn.), Jordan Stokes (Richmond, Va.) and Britini Strates (Orlando, Fla.).

"For the third year in a row, we have signed a great recruiting class full of young women who are excited about the University of Virginia," Vigilante said.

Bingham was a five-time VISAA state champion and seven-time Independent School League Conference champion at Episcopal High School.  Ranked in the top-ten nationally in the 55m hurdles, Bingham was the state's fastest in the event her senior season.  She was also ranked No. 10 in the state in the 55m dash.

Cronin, from Andover, Mass., was the 2010 National High School Champion in the high jump and a three-time All-American in the event.  Winner of three-straight New England high jump titles, Cronin also captured four Massachusetts Division I championships and finished the 2011 season ranked the No. 7 high school high jumper in the nation.  Over the course of her career, Cronin has jumped 5'10" three times and over 5'9" nine times.

DeVita is from Ridgewood, N.J.  A back-to-back state sectional champion in the 100m hurdles, DeVita also won the high jump state title in her senior year at Ridgewood High School.  She finished seventh in the pentathlon at the 2011 New Balance indoor national meet and is the Bergen County record holder in the event.

Dobbs, a distance runner, is from Richmond, Va.  A eight-time AAA All-State selection, Dobbs was the 2009 Central Region cross country champion and the 2010 runner-up.  She raced to Foot Locker All-South accolades in 2009 and finished in the top-ten in the state in both her junior and senior years.  On the track, Dobbs placed third in the 1600m at the 2010 AAA state meet.

Karin is a transfer from LSU, where she threw the javelin for the Tigers.  Coached in high school by former Olympian and javelin world record holder, Tom Petranoff, Karin was a 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals All-American in the field event.

Larson, from Yorba Linda, Calif., will compete for Virginia next season.  Larson was the 2010 Orange County high jump champion, earning All-County honors.  She also placed nineteenth in the heptathlon at the 2010 USA Junior Nationals and was named a Lutheran High School Scholar-Athlete all four years.

Lavender joins the Cavalier sprint corps from Nashville, Tenn., where she ran for the University School of Nashville.  The versatile athlete won state championships in four different events (100m, 200m, 400m, long jump), compiling ten titles over the course of her career.  Ranked among the nation's top-20 in all four, Lavender was named the 2011 Tennesee State Player of the Year and the Tennessee Mid-State Athlete of the Year.

Loudon, a distance runner, comes to Virginia from Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan, N.J.  A three-time All-County Miler and State Group 3 qualifier indoors (twice) and outdoors (once), Loudon was also a NJ State Meet of Championship participant in 2010.  

McKinney comes to Virginia from Nashville, Tenn., where she was a two-time state runner-up in the pentathlon.  McKinney finished the season ranked No. 2 nationally in the event and was a 2011 All-American indoors.

Stokes is a sprinter from Trinity Episcopal High School in Richmond, Va.  Stokes was the VISAA state champion in the 300m indoors and 200m outdoors and was named VISAA's Most Valuable Running Performer in 2011.  A five-time All-Metro Richmond honoree, Stokes swept the 55m, 100m, 200m, and 400m at the League of Independent Schools Championships two consecutive years.  She earned LIS Athlete of the Year in 2010 and was the league's outstanding track athlete three times.  

Strates, from Orlando, Fla., will compete in the jumps for Virginia next season.  The 2011 Florida state champion and 2010 AAU All-American in the triple jump, Strates was ranked among the top 35 triple jumpers in the country this year.  In addition to being Florida's top triple jumper, Strates concluded the 2011 season ranked No. 3 in the state in the high jump.  Her versatility helped earn Strates Orlando Sentinel All-Area Track and Field Team honors her junior and senior years.