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Five Sign with Virginia Women's Track & Field and Cross Country

Danielle Alakija

Nov. 20, 2014

Photo Gallery of Incoming Recruits

CHARLOTTESVILLE - The Virginia women's track and field/cross country program has signed five athletes who will join the Cavaliers in the fall of 2015. The class features an Olympian and two multiple-time state champions.

"I am thrilled with this group of young ladies," said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Bryan Fetzer. "Each know how to win, both as individuals and as a member of a team. All five will have an immediate impact in our program."

The class includes athletes who will compete in sprints, hurdles, distance, jumps and multi-events for the Cavaliers.

VIRGINIA WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD/CROSS COUNTRY FALL SIGNING CLASS

Danielle Alakija • Sprints • Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Oaks Christian)
• Represented Fiji at the 2012 Olympics and 2012 World Championships
• Was the youngest track & field athlete at the London Olympics, finishing 39th in the qualifying round of the 400m
• Member of Fiji's silver medal winning 4x400m relay at the 2011 Pacific Games
• Chose Virginia over Washington and Georgetown

"I've known Dani for a long time and her coming to Virginia is a unique blessing. She comes from a track & field family. I know she will bring a wealth of experience, having already participated in the Olympics, to our young sprints group." - Fetzer

I first stepped onto UVa campus as a 12-year old 8th grader on an east coast tour. I fell in love immediately with the campus, both the sense of history and the quirky traditions that are evident the second you arrive. I called my mother and told her I was going to college in Virginia. It's funny how life works, because several years later here I am! Coach Fetzer is also a huge part of my decision. I first encountered him when he was at Harvard, and again by some divine design here he is at UVa. He is a great leader, kind, caring and big picture focused. I'm excited about what the next few years will bring both academically and athletically. The holistic nature of the athletic program is unparalleled. I'm honored to be a part of it." - Alakija

Bonnie Angermeier • Distance/Cross Country • Blacksburg, Va. (Blacksburg)
• 2013 and 2014 Virginia 3A Cross Country Champion
• 2014 Virginia 3A Indoor 1600m and 3200m Champion
• Chose Virginia over Wake Forest

"We are excited to have another great runner from Blacksburg High School on Grounds. Bonnie has proven she knows how to win, and also lead the No. 1 ranked high school cross country team in the nation." - women's cross country head coach Todd Morgan

Carly Feyerabend • Heptathlon/High Jump • Mechanicsville, Va. (Atlee)
• Seven-time All-State, including second-place finish in 100m hurdles and third-place finish in the high jump
• Member of Atlee's 2014 indoor state championship team
• Chose Virginia over Richmond, William & Mary and Bucknell

"A heptathlete is a unique individual. You have to have a combination of talent and toughness to be successful and Carly fits that description. She impressed me with her demeanor from the first day we met. I am so excited to get her on grounds and start the process." - Fetzer

I never had a doubt that UVa is where I belong. The unbeatable academics, top-tier athletics, and picture-perfect college town were definitely selling points. After meeting with the coaches, team, and staff on my visit to UVa, I was blown away by the resources provided to student-athletes. I was even more certain about my decision as I couldn't imagine myself going to school anywhere else. Attending UVa has always been my goal, but the opportunity to join the track team and compete in the ACC is a dream come true. UVA has everything I am looking for as a student and an athlete, while I am also confident that my experiences will prepare me for success in the future." - Feyerabend

Alana Herran • Jumps/Hurdles • Orange, N.J. (Union Catholic)
• 2014 New York Metropolitan Invitational Indoor Long Jump Champion
• 2014 All-County in Long Jump, High Jump and 400m Hurdles
• Helped high school win 2012 Indoor and Outdoor State Championship

"Alana is one of the brightest stars from the state of New Jersey. One of her talents is her versatility, but she is also a great teammate who fits our program perfectly. I can't wait to see her perform at Virginia." - assistant coach Mario Wilson

As soon as I stepped foot on the grounds I knew this was the place I wanted to be. I visited several universities, but none compared to Virginia. During my very first visit, I was a part of a guided tour. The student guide really impressed me with his confidence and friendliness. One of my preferences was to attend a university in the south, so that was a plus. UVA is ranked pretty high nationally as a university and I loved the feel of Charlottesville, and I also loved the campus. Every single person who I mentioned UVa to had the same response, in saying what a great school UVa is. There is a nice balance of everything I believe a college should have socially, academically, and athletically. The school spirit was amazing and I felt right at home. I believe in destiny and I believe that UVa is the place where I will settle in well. Everyone who I met on the Grounds seemed so exciting, but also focused and very intelligent. Everyone who I met from the team was so welcoming and warm-hearted. The coaches were all personable and professional. I believe that I will build strong relationships at UVa. The Cross Country and Track & Field team seems well rounded and I can see myself being competitive in the ACC and contributing to the team." - Herran

Ciara Leonard • Hurdles • Elkins Park, Pa. (Cheltenham)
• PRs of 8.40 in the 60m hurdles and 13.65 in the 100m hurdles
• Ranked No. 3 in the class of 2015 in the 100 hurdles by Dyestat
• Two-time Pennsylvania state champion
• Chose Virginia over Syracuse, Kentucky and Penn

"I am always thrilled to sign someone from my home state, not to mention Craig Littlepage's high school. As good as she is at the moment, she has a ton of upside. Ciara is young for a graduating senior, but as she gains strength to go along with her frequency she will quickly become a force in both the ACC and nationally." - Fetzer

 

 

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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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