CHARLOTTE, N.C. Senior All-American Alex Tatu and sophomores Ayla Smith and Meghan Briggs led 12 Cavaliers and one relay team to top-three finishes in their events Saturday, by winning their respective events in the final day of the 49er Classic. In addition, Smith’s time in the 400m hurdles was her second straight NCAA regional-qualifying mark in the event, while Briggs met the NCAA regional mark in the javelin throw.
Smith ran a 1:00.51 in yesterday’s preliminaries to earn the top seed in today’s finals. She was again the first to cross the line in the long hurdles today, finishing in a personal-best 1:00.42, to improve her NCAA qualifying time. Briggs threw a length of 45.57m in the javelin throw to lead all competitors, while Tatu was the first to cross the line in the 2000m steeplechase. He finished in 5:59.48.
Senior Suzanne Ginnow and sophomores Stephanie Garcia, Chris Clark and Stephen Finley were also among the top-three to cross the line in the 2000m steeplechase. On the women’s side, Garcia finished second in 6:54.50, to lead four Cavaliers in the top-five finishers. Ginnow took third in 7:13.23, while senior Janine Ricci finished fourth in 7:16.81 and sophomore Samantha Stafford took fifth in 7:20.42. For the men, Clark took second in 6:00.08, followed by Finley in 6:08.36.
Junior Alexa Manning was the runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 14.10m and freshman Krisina Chapman followed smith across the line in the 400m hurdles. Chapman finished the hurdles finals in a time of 1:02.66, shaving almost an entire second off of her time from yesterday’s preliminary time.
In the 200m, senior Reuben Jones was the third finisher with a time of 21.75. Junior Susan Brooks was also a top-three finisher in the 800m, finishing the middle distance event in 2:15.58.
In the 100m hurdles, Lauren Echko took third in 13.99, while Smith finished fourth in a personal-best time of 14.09. Smith’s time marks the seventh fastest in school history, while Echko missed her personal-best by six-tenths of a second.
Senior Janne’a Bridgeford, sophomore Eric Pickle and freshman Marcus Robinson also scored personal-best marks to rank them in the schools all-time top-10 lists. Bridgeford improved her best mark in the 200m to 24.14, to rank ninth all-time, while Pickle also holds ninth in the discus with a throw of 48.09m. Robinson leaped 14.43m in the triple jump to take over 10th place.
The women’s 4x100m relay team rounded out those in the top-three, by taking second in 45.85.
The Virginia track and field team will split up next weekend, with some heading to the Raleigh Relays in N.C. and some to the Hurricane Invitational in Miami, Fla. Both meets take place Friday and Saturday, all day.
100m: Talia Wise (4th 11.86); 100mH: Lauren Echko (3rd 13.99), Ayla Smith (4th 14.09); 200m: Janne’a Bridgeford (5th 24.4); 400mH: Ayla Smith (1st 1:00.42Q), Kristina Chapman (1:02.66), Hilary Moen (1:05.64); 800m: Susan Brooks (2nd - 2:15.58), Megan Durkee (2:19.43), Valarie Wilder (2:19.54); 2000m steeplechase: Stephanie Garcia (2nd 6:54.50), Suzanne Ginnow (3rd 7:13.23), Janine Ricci (4th 7:16.81), Samantha Stafford (5th 7:20.42); 4x100m: Virginia (2nd 45.85); 4x400m: Virginia (7th 4:01.89)
SP: Alexa Manning (2nd 14.10m), Jav: Meghan Briggs (1st 45.57mQ), Caitlin Kelly (8th 35.56m); TJ: Katie Tershel (5th 11.79m), Rashawnda James (6th 11.65m); HJ: Assiatu Williams (5th 1.55m).
200m: Reuben Jones (3rd 21.75); 2000m steeplechase: Alex Tatu (1st 5:59.48), Chris Clark (2nd 6:00.08), Stephen Finley (3rd 6:08.36); 4x100m: Virginia (5th 41.50); 4x400m: Virginia (5th 3:16.55);
SP: Eric Pickle (5th 15.65m); TJ: Marcus Robinson (5th 14.43m); HJ: Meikle Paschal (NH); Disc: Eric Pickle (5th 48.09m).