Virginia Tech accomplished a rare double winning both the men’s and women’s ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend.
The Hokies women’s squad (124.5 pts) led after the first day of competition but needed a big effort in the 4×400 finale. The relay team of Courtney Blanden, Ama-Selina Tchume, Nora McKiver and Arlicia Bush finished in second behind Miami to seal the championship for the Lady Hokies.
It was the Hokies distance runners that helped the men’s team storm up the leaderboard. Hokies senior Drew Piazza (1:46.76) and junior Patrick Joseph (1:46.82 ) swept the top two spots in the men’s 800-meter run. Neil Gourley, Vincent Ciattei, and Diego Zarate went 1-2-3 in the men’s 1500 meters contributing 25 points to the Virginia Tech climb.
The night was made complete for the Hokies with a 7-point third-place finish in the 4x 400 meter relay. Wins are nice but the Hokies final race win in the men’s competition was made a tad bit sweeter by beating their in-state rivals from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville 120-119.
Virginia Tech senior Hanna Green won gold medals in the 1500 meter and 800 meter runs Sunday to add 20 points to the women’s point total. Teammates Rachel Pocratsky added 8 with a second place finish in the 800 m and Katie Kennedy added 3 points with her sixth-place finish.
Hurricanes senior Shakima Wimbley picked up two individual and two relay gold medals on Sunday. Wimbley walked away from the field in the women’s 400-meter dash and set a conference and championship record to win the women’s 200-meter dash. She was named the Most Valuable Female Track Performer for the 40 point contribution.
Miami picked up 105 points for their performance in the sprints and field on Sunday. The Hurricanes failed to score any points in the distance events the entire weekend.
Virginia’s men’s team had a strong showing leading the standings in the first two days. Senior Filip Mihaljevic ended his conference days with wins in the shot put and discus throw. The Cavaliers throwers (Mihaljevic, Oghenakpobo Efekoro, Jordan Young, Hilman Orn Jonsson, Anthony Bouselli, and Nace Plesko) racked up 60 of the team’s 119 points.
The Lady Seminoles simply ran out of gas. Senior Kellion Knibb and Gleneve Grange helped Florida State pick up 18 points sweeping the top two spots in the women’s discus throw. Sophomore Shauna Helps added another 16 points with a first place finish in the 100 meter and 200-meter dash. Her points in the 200 meters were the last for the Seminoles. The FSU 4×400 relay team finished in ninth and out of the scoring.
NC State Cravont Charleston (10.07 s) cruised to gold in the men’s 100 meters and 200-meter dashes. The Wolfpack freshman also picked up a third gold as a member of the 4 x 100 meter relay team. NC State relay team members sophomore Nyheim Hines and freshman Dylan Peebles also picked up a bronze in the 100 meters and a silver in the 200-meter dashes.
Pittsburgh Panthers two-time hurdle champion senior Desmond Palmer came up short in the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. Palmer was beaten in the 110-meter hurdles by 2016 conference champion Freddie Crittendon III of Syracuse. In the 400 meter hurdles, Tarheels junior Kenny Selmon (48.76 s) simply blew away the field to win gold.
Tarheels senior Ceo Ways pulled a Wade van Niekirk sprinting to a win in the men’s 400 meters out of lane 8. Ways bested the Clemson tandem of Jeffrey Green and Cordell Lamb.
Anna Rohrer demolished the field in the women’s 5,000 meters. The closest competitor, Wake Forest’s Ellie Abrahamson, was a full 7 seconds behind.
Syracuse junior Justyn Knight out-kicked NC State senior George Parsons to win the men’s 5000-meter run.
Hurricanes sophomore Anna Runia (57.03 s) rolled to a gold in the women’s 400 m hurdles. Tigers sophomore Markeeta Thomas (57.36 s) won silver and Hokies junior Nora McKiver (57.87 s) the bronze.
all photos by Jake McDonald, CORE360 Sports