Junior Ayla Smith led the Virginia track and field teams on the opening day of competition at the Virginia Tech Invitational, breaking Virginia’s program record in the 60m hurdles on Friday evening at Rector Field House.
Smith, a Winchester, Va., native, initially broke the school record with her fourth-place finish in the preliminary race of the 60m hurdles in 8.47, beating Kim Turko's 8.55 mark from 2001, which was enough to advance her to the finals. She then bettered her school record taking third in 8.45, narrowly missing an NCAA qualifying mark.
Also making changes in Virginia’s record books were freshmen throwers Vincenzo Chiariello (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Erin Wykoff (St. Jacob, Ill.). Both competing in the weight throw, Chiariello threw 49’ 1” on his final attempt to make his way into Virginia’s record books, taking the 10th spot. His throw was good for sixth at the meet, while Wykoff (St. Jacob, Ill.), already holding ninth on Virginia’s weight throw records, improved her mark to 49’ 7”, good for a fourth-place finish.
Both of Virginia’s distance medley relays were successful, as the women’s team of freshman Morgane Gay (Bethesda, Md.), junior Galyn Iloka (Rickledge, Fla.), junior Megan Durkee (West Chester, Pa.) and junior Stephanie Garcia (South Riding, Va.) won their event in 11:58.87, while the men’s team of freshman Lance Roller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), junior Brian Lee (Richmond, Va.), sophomore Andrew Lobb (West Chester, Pa.) and senior Kevin Tschirhart (Northport, N.Y.) took first in 10:20.84.
In the 800m, the Cavaliers claimed two of the top-four spots, led by senior Alex Bowman (Richmond, Va.), who fought off Hampton’s Daniel Edmond for second in 1:57.19, while freshman Steve Franks (Lansdale, Pa.) finished fourth in 1:57.85.
Sophomore Meikle Paschal (Lexington, Mass.) and freshman Kevin Anding (Houston, Texas) both won their heats in the 500m, finishing fourth and seventh overall, respectively. Paschal crossed in a time of 1:04.33, while Anding finished in 1:05.11.
In the 300m, Smith won her heat in 39.61 to finish sixth overall, while Fiala also won his heat in a personal-best 35.35.
The Cavaliers will return to action tomorrow to conclude the Virginia Tech Invitational. Events will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with the women’s 4x400m relay at 2:10 p.m.