The first leg of the track and field quadruple crown kicked off Friday morning as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships (#ACCOTF) got underway at George C. Griffin Track on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sunny skies gave way to a brief inclement weather delay later in the day but not before six of the final competitions were completed. Youth led the way in the women’s hammer throw competition as Florida State freshman Vernoika Kanuchova won the competition with a 64-01 (210 ft) throw on her fifth and final throw. Kanuchova topped Virginia Tech’s Pavla Kuklova (63.16 m) and Emma Thor (62.94 m).
In the men’s javelin, Duke sophomore Nicholas Solfanelli uncorked his career-best throw of 64.89 (212-0) in the fourth round to win a competitive event. Clemson junior Dylan Ahrens picked up a second-place finish with a 64.57 meters (211-10) throw in the fifth round. Elijah Shalaway of Wake Forest was unable to better his second round throw, career-best, of 64.37 meters (211-1) to place third.
Duke claimed all three spots atop the podium in the women’s pole vault. Madison Heath, Laura Marty, and Nati Sheppard went 1-2-3. Sheppard nailed down the final spot over Louisville’s Morgan Zacharias by virtue of fewer misses at 3.88 m (12 ft 8¾ in).
Virginia Tech senior Irena Sediva broke the ACC Championship record she set two years ago with a throw of 58.68 m (192 ft 6 in) to win the women’s javelin. Her first place finish was never in jeopardy as all of her throws, including the record-setting final throw, were better than the second-place toss by teammate Eva Vivod.
The men’s and women’s 10K concluded the first day of competition. Virginia Tech sophomore Peter Seufer out-paced Syracuse junior Philo Germano and Virginia’s Brent Demarest for the gold. Seufer. Fighting Irish redshirt fresman Anna Rohrer claimed her first outdoor championship winning the women’s race in 33:22.05. Rohrer cruised to victory well ahead of the Wolfpack’s Rachel Koon and Hokies’ Abigail Moteley.
Warnings of lightening in the area followed the conclusion of the 400 m dash in the heptathlete competition. Melissa-Marie Farrington sits atop the standings with 3385 points having won both the high jump and 100 mH. Louisville sophomore Holly Hankenson (3263) leads four other competitors who are in striking distance of Farrington with three events remaining on Saturday. The decathlon 400-meter dash picked up after the 75-minute delay. Duke senior Robert Rohner had the fastest time and added 851 points to his event leading total (4676). Rohner leads Louisville junior Eric Fox, who has yet to win an event, by less than 200 points with 5 events remaining. NC State junior Grant Rivers placed first in the high jump and 110 mH to grab the third spot halfway through the competition.
In ACC team competition, Virginia Tech (45) and Duke (42) sit atop the standing with two days of event finals to go. Virginia (35) leads the men’s thanks to a 3-4-5 finish in the 10k.
Competition gets started on Saturday bright and early with the heptathlon and decathlon. Most of the events get started at 3:00 pm and conclude with the men’s and women’s 3000-meter steeplechase.
All photos by Jake McDonald, CORE360 Sports