CHARLOTTESVILLE - The Virginia track and field teams open competition at the 2008 Indoor Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at the Eddie Smith Field House/Belk Track in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Thursday, Feb. 28, on the campus of the University of North Carolina. The multi events begin Thursday, while prelims and finals for certain events begin Friday and end Saturday.
The women’s side has already seen two performers register NCAA Provisional marks this season. Senior Emily Harrison has qualified in both the mile run and 3,000 meters. Her mile time of 4:46.26 is the third fastest of an ACC competitor this season, while her 3,000 meters time of 9:30.24 ranks sixth in the league. In field events, senior Billie-Jo Grant has also recorded a provisional mark in the shot put. Her school-record throw of 52’11.5 (16.14m) is the second longest throw in the ACC this season. The duo will look to better their marks this weekend, while awaiting a bid to the NCAA meet.
In addition to Harrison and Grant, the women’s side has 10 other competitors ranked in the top-10 of the conference in their respective events, along with two relays. The Cavaliers boast two top-10 performances in the 55-meters, with senior Janne’a Bridgeford’s fourth-fastest league performance (7.08) and junior Talia Wise’s ninth-fastest time of 7.24. Bridgeford has also recorded the sixth-fastest time in the 60-meters, with her season-best time of 7.50.
Juniors Sara Casscells, Alexa Manning and freshman Rashawnda James all rank in the top-10 conference performers in two events. Casscells holds the fifth fastest 800 meter run, in a time of 2:11.11, and the eighth fastest finish in the 55 meter hurdles (8.01). Manning holds two top-10 marks in field events. Her throw of 48’11.75” (14.93m) in the shot put and her 54’9” (16.69m) mark in the 20-Lb. weight throw rank ninth.
James holds two top spots in the long and triple jump. Her triple jump of 39’9.75” (12.13m) and long jump of 19’1.5” (5.83m) both rank sixth. Senior Katie Tershel holds the ninth longest jump in the triple jump, with a 39’0.5” (11.90m) mark.
Sophomore Katie Darraugh and freshman Assiatu Williams round out the top in the field events, while sophomores Diana Burk and Ayla Smith completed the top-10 marks on the track. Darraugh ranks 10th in the pole vault, clearing a height of 11’9.25” (3.59m), and Williams’ mark of 5’6.5” (1.69m) in the high jump ranks eighth. Burk holds the fifth fastest time in the 5,000 meters, at 17:29.07, and Smith’s 8.01 time in the 55 meter hurdles ranks fifth in the league.
The men’s team places 15 in the top-10 performances, with six holding top marks in more than one event. Sprinter Reuben Jones and senior David Lewis lead the men, holding three top spots each.
Jones owns the fourth-fastest league time of 6.39 in the 55 meters heading into the championships. He also ranks eighth in the 60 meters dash (6.79) and 10th in the 200 meters (21.82). Lewis holds the fourth-best heptathlon mark at 4997 and sixth top 55 meter hurdles time (8.02), in addition to the ninth-best jump in the pole vault (16’0.75”/4.90m).
Sophomore Brandon Carter and freshman Conlon Bonner join Jones in the top-10 of the 55-meter dash. Carter’s season-best time of 6.52 ranks sixth, while Bonners 6.55 finish is seventh. Bonner also ranks in the 200 meters, with a ninth best time of 21.79.
In the 800 meters, Jordan Orr ran the eighth fastest time in 1:53.62, while three men hold top-places in the mile run. Junior Andrew Jesien leads the trio, ranking third with 4:06.10. Junior Andy Biladeau was close behind, holding third with 4:06.83, and Ryan Foster rounds out the top-10 with a 4:11.46 finish. Biladeau also ranks seventh in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:13.04.
Joining Lewis in the top 55 meter hurdles times are freshmen Adams Abdulrazaaq and Greg Nelson. Abdulrazaaq holds the third spot with a time of 7.54, while Nelson is eighth in 8.02. Abdulrazaaq also holds sixth in the 60-meter hurdles with a 7.98 finish.
Senior Jordan Orr holds eighth in the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.62 and senior Taylor Smith and sophomore Trey Miller rank third and eighth, respectively, in the 5,000 meters. Smith holds a season-best time of 14:47.69 and Miller has a time of 15:01.27.
In field events, Nelson and sophomore Arthur Gennari are ranked in the high jump, while freshman Marcus Robinson is among the top triple jumpers. Nelson holds a fifth place jump of 6’9.75” (2.08m), while Gennari has a best mark of 6’8.75” (2.05m). Robinson jumped 48’8” (14.83m).
Junior Yemi Ayeni rounds out the field events with his school-record throw of 57’10.25 (17.63m), good for third.
Live events for the meet can be found at www.flashresults.com.