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Virginia Tech track and field and cross country director Dave Cianelli honored the 1956 team at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet on Feb. 4, unveiling an indoor and outdoor conference championship banner inside Rector Field House.
Competing on the track since 1923, the 1956 team marked the program’s first ever indoor and outdoor conference titles in school history. Dick Arnold also was named the 440-yard outdoor champion. Arnold, Terry Drew, Bob Edwards, Mike Jackson, Bob Metclafe and Dick Noakes were in attendance and were recognized throughout the two-day invitational.
“It was an honor to have these members of the 1956 Southern Conference championship team back on campus,” Cianelli said. “That championship marked Virginia Tech’s first track and field conference title in the history of the program. I strongly felt that this team needed to be recognized and with the outstanding help of Brian Walter, who was an all-American in cross country, we were able to make this a fantastic weekend.
“The unveiling of the new banners for the 1956 team was an idea that I have had for 11 years. It was a great feeling to finally see those banners hanging in Rector. When the Rector renovation project is complete, we will have an area where every conference championship team in our history will be recognized. We also had additional track and field alumnus back on campus from every era. We will continue to hold an annual track and field weekend, welcoming all track and field/cross country alumnus to attend.”
The Virginia Tech men’s track and field team stayed at No. 16 in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll that was released Monday.
The Hokies, who have broken into the top 25 at least once in each of the past 10 years, are one of just three ACC teams in the poll. Syracuse checked in at No. 6, while Virginia was ranked ninth. Florida – which competed in the Hokie Invitational – remained in the top spot.
The Hokies are also ranked fifth in the Southeast Region – an area that encompasses Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina. Kentucky is ranked first in the region followed by South Carolina, North Carolina A&T and Clemson.
On the women’s side, the Hokies are not ranked. The Hokies are ranked ninth in the Southeast Region.
Former Virginia Tech track and field superstar Queen Harrison returned to campus for the Hokies’ Homecoming festivities. But before attending the football game against East Carolina, she first met with Tech’s track and field programs the evening before the game.
Harrison, who spoke to the team about pursuing goals and working hard, became the second high-profile former track and field athlete to return to campus. The previous week, Kristi Castlin came back for the Tech-Boston College game and was recognized during an on-field ceremony for winning the bronze medal in the 100-meter hurdles at the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro.
Harrison is the most decorated female track and field athlete in Tech history. She won three national championships during her career, claiming the crown in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2010 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships and winning both the 100 and 400 hurdles at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She became the first Tech female to win a national championship and the first female in NCAA history to win both the 100 and 400 at the same NCAA championship event.
Harrison became the first Tech female in program history to make the U.S. Olympic team when she qualified for the 2008 Summer Games held in Beijing, China. She finished second in the 400 hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials to earn her spot. She advanced as far as the semifinal round in the event.
Harrison finished fourth in the 100 hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials this past July and missed on qualifying for the Olympic team. But she went to Rio as a fan and enjoyed seeing the Americans sweep the 100 hurdles.
She also enjoyed watching her boyfriend, Will Claye, compete at the Olympics. He won the silver in the triple jump and then surprised Harrison by coming up into the stands afterward and asking her to marry him. She said yes.
The two of them talk about his surprise proposal in the following video.
In case you missed it, Team USA swept the podium in the 100-meter hurdles on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Former Tech standout Kristi Castlin completed the podium sweep with a bronze medal time of 12.61 seconds and became the first Hokie to claim an Olympic medal since former men's basketball standout Bimbo Coles in 1988.
USA teammate Brianna Rollins clocked a time of 12.48 seconds to finish first overall, followed by Nia Ali in second (12.59 seconds).
Also, be sure to check out social media's reaction to Castlin's victory and Team USA's podium sweep below. The Twitter world did not disappoint when it came to making history!
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/lDHM9TGVuL— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2016
Incredible night for American women in track and field as they earn 6 medals (2 golds, 2 silvers, 2 bronzes). pic.twitter.com/7oGcN3WPsO— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2016
A historic night.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2016
U.S. becomes the first nation in Olympic history to sweep medals in the women's 100m hurdles. pic.twitter.com/zBzKsfHW6m
Queen Harrison’s longtime boyfriend Will Claye asked her to marry him, after winning a silver medal in the triple jump at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on Tuesday evening.
Claye and Harrison have been dating since 2012.
Harrison competed in the hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and earned three NCAA titles as a senior, becoming Virginia Tech's first female national champion in any sport.
A medal and a marriage proposal – now, that’s quite a day.
Rising sophomore Diego Zarate of the Virginia Tech men’s track and field team competed in the 1,500-meter race at the 2016 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World U20 Championships on Tuesday, at Zawisza Stadium located in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
A native of Germantown, Maryland, Zarate placed seventh in his respected heat of the 1,500-meter race and did not advance to the final. His time of 3:47.95 placed him 19th out of 41 runners in the qualifying round. The top three times from each heat advanced to the finals, followed by the next three best times. Hailing from Morocco, Ayoub Sniba crossed the finish line with a winning mark of 3:44.59 to advance to the final round of competition. Kenya’s Anthony Kiptoo placed second with a time of 3:44.74, followed by Great Britain’s Josh Kerr in third (3:44.86).
Zarate's classmate Deakin Volz will participate in the pole vault event held on Thursday. The first round is set to begin at 3:45 a.m. ET. The top 12 performers will advance to the final round of competition held on Saturday.
Complete results from today’s 1,500-meter race can be found at www.iaaf.org.
Virginia Tech cross country/track runner Thomas Curtin was named Inside Hokie Sports’ Athlete of the Year in its final issue of the 2015-16 academic year.
Inside Hokie Sports is the athletics department magazine that gets sent to all donors of Virginia Tech athletics, along with those who subscribe.
Curtin, who just concluded his career, won three ACC gold medals in track and field and cross country this past season and earned three All-America nods. He became the first distance runner to be named the magazine’s Athlete of the Year since the publication started doing this in 1995.
Curtin won the ACC cross country title in thrilling fashion at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida last October, edging Syracuse’s Justyn Knight by less than two seconds. He led for much of the race before Knight passed him with around 200 meters left. But Curtin kicked pass Knight in the final stretch to claim the gold medal in a course-record time of 23 minutes, 23 seconds.
At the NCAA Cross Country Championships, Curtin battled a foot injury, but finished 22nd, earning All-America honors in cross country for the first time. He won three races during the cross country season.
During the indoor track season, Curtin finished second in the 5,000-meter run at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Boston, as Knight beat him by half of a stride. At the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Birmingham, Alabama, Curtin finished second in the 5,000, with Oregon’s Ed Cheserek beating him to win the gold medal. Still, Curtin earned All-America honors during the indoor season for the third time.
Curtin saved the best part of his year for the outdoor season. He won the ACC titles in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs, accumulating 20 points toward the Hokies’ team total. Behind him, the Tech men went on to win the ACC outdoor title for the second time in program history.
At the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Eugene, Oregon in mid-June, Curtin came in fourth in the 5,000 with a time of 13:27.64 – eclipsing his career best by six seconds. He earned All-America honors during the outdoor season for the second time.
For his career, Curtin earned All-America honors six times – the most by a male distance runner in the Tech program’s history. He also departed as the school record holder (both indoor and outdoor) in the 5,000.
Former Virginia Tech runners Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin both advanced Thursday out of first-round qualifying for the 100-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials being held July 1-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Castlin finished with the fifth-best time overall, running the event in 12.68 seconds and winning her heat. Harrison, who competed in the 2008 Olympics, was right behind Castlin with the sixth-best time overall. She, too, won her heat, running the event in 12.71 seconds.
Brianna Rollins led all competitors in first-round qualifying with a time of 12.56 seconds.
The 21-woman semifinals of the 100 hurdles are today at 6:58 p.m. (EST). The finals will be held at 8:54 p.m. (EST) and will be the last event of the evening.
The top three finishers in each event will earn spots on the U.S. Olympic team that will be competing in the Summer Games later this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Former Virginia Tech runner Thomas Curtin came up less than four seconds short of qualifying for the finals of the 5,000-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials being held July 1-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
In first-round qualifying held on Independence Day, Curtin, the Leesburg, Virginia product who recently concluded his career at Tech, finished 21st overall with a time of 13 minutes, 55.57 seconds. The top 16 fastest times qualified for the finals, which will be held Saturday.
Stanford’s Sean McGorty grabbed the final qualifying spot in the field with a time of 13:52.15. William Kincaid led all runners with a time of 13:47.86.
Curtin closed his Tech career by earning All-America honors in all three disciplines this past academic year – cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. He was the silver medalist in the 5,000 at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships and he came in fourth in the 5,000 at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in early June. He won three ACC gold medals this past season, as he was the ACC men’s champion in cross country and he won the 5,000 and 10,000 at the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Tallahassee in mid-May, leading the Hokies to the team title.
Two former Tech athletes remain in the mix for earning spots on the U.S. Olympic team. Former Tech hurdlers Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin will be attempting to make the U.S. Olympic squad in the 100-meter hurdles event. Qualifying begins on Thursday, with the semifinals and finals set for Friday. The top three finishers in each event will earn berths in the Summer Games being held later this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Virginia Tech runner Hanna Green came up short in her attempt to make the U.S. Olympic team, as the junior from Latrobe, Pennsylvania did not advance to the semifinal round of the 800-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials being held July 1-10 in Eugene, Oregon.
Green, who has been bothered with a hamstring injury this spring, finished fifth in her heat, running a time of 2 minutes, 2.85 seconds. Brenda Martinez won the heat with a time of 2:00.85. The top two fastest times in each of the five heats advanced along with the next six fastest times for a total of 16.
Green, whose personal-best in the 800 is 2:01.17, finished with the 14th-fastest time in first-round qualifying, but four others who ran slower times finished among the top two in their respective heats to advance. Only two collegians advanced to the semifinal round.
With two days down, the total is up to TEN Hokies heading to Eugene. A group of three more have their shot tonight in the 1,500-meter quarterfinal and the 5,000 meters. Top 12 compeitiors advance to the NCAA Championships.
Men’s 1,500m quarterfinal: Neil Gourley is going to Eugene! Despite getting stuck in the back of the pack through the first two laps, he moved up into third for the automatic qualifier to the national meet.
Men’s 5k: After battling through the middle of the pack, Tommy Curtin came out on top to win heat two of the 5k and punch his ticket to Eugene!
After qualifying six for the NCAA Championships, 10 more Hokies look to advance to Eugene on the second day of the East Regional in Jacksonville. This page will be updated throughout the day as events are completed.
Live results here.
Men’s Javelin: Matija Muhar threw 71.78 meters (235-6) on his final attempt to qualify for Eugene. Jaka Muhar placed 20th overall during fight two.
Men’s Discus: On his first throw, Marek Barta became Tech's eighth qualfierer to the national championships.
Women’s Vault: Erica Hjerpe cleared 5.10 meters on her second attempt but did not qualify for the national meet.
Women’s 800m Quarterfinal: Hanna Green was ticket No. 9 to Eugene with second place finish to automatically qualify.
Men’s 800m Quarterfinal: Patrick Joseph followed suit as the 10th Hokie to qualify for the national meet with his second place result.
Women’s 200m Round 1: Despite setting a new personal record of 23.69 in section one, Courtney Blanden did not qualify for Eugene.
Men’s steeplechase: Darren Barlow finished in 9:15.26 while Stuart Robertson was unable to finish. Neither will advance to Eugene.
Check back in tomorrow for Saturday's action.
Day one of the NCAA East Regional Preliminary Rounds are underway at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium. A group of 21 Hokies are competing on the first day. The top 12 finishers qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon on June 8-11.
Women’s javelin: On her first attempt, Sabine Kopplin qualified for the national meet in Eugene with her 47.42-meter (155-7) throw.
Men’s hammer: Tomas Kruzliak will make his fifth national meet appearance following his 65.71-meter (215-7) qualifying throw.
Men’s vault: Chris Uhle, Deakin Volz, Torben Laidig, and Brad Johnson will all be heading to Eugene - that's four of the 12 qualifiers from the East Regional. Uhle, Volz, and Laidig each cleared 5.30 meters while Johson was the final qualifier at the 5.25-meter mark.
Women’s hammer: Pavla Kuklova was the lone Hokie in the event, placing 22nd overall.
Men's 1,500 meters: Neil Gourley placed fifth in heat four to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal round with his 3:45.20 time.
Women's 800 meters: Hanna Green placed second in the first heat to qualify for Friday's quarterfinal at 7 p.m.
Men's 800 meters: Patrick Joseph won the first head to advance to the quarterfinal on Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Men's 10k: Andrew Gaiser earned a top-25 finish in the 10k with his 30:31.90-time.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's action beginning at noon.
Follow the NCAA Championships live both Friday and Saturday!
Live results of the meet can be found here.
Schedule of Events:
The hype around junior Irena Sediva continues to grow following her national championship javelin throw in June. The Virginia Tech Magazine is featuring the Czech Republic native in the upcoming issue (vtmag.vt.edu). The article will be accompanied by a video already released. Check it out below!
Earlier this week, former Tech thrower Marcel Lomnicky represented Slovakia at the World Championships in Beijing, China. He finished eighth overall in the hammer throw after a 75.79-meter (248-8) toss. Lomnicky qualified for the finals after a preliminary throw of 74.51 meters (244-5).
While at Tech, Lomnicky won two of the Hokies’ 15 NCAA national championships. In 2009, the Nitra, Slovakia native recorded a hammer throw of 71.78 meters (235-6) to win the national title. At his final meet as a Hokie in 2012, Lomnicky won his second national championship, claiming the gold in the 35-pound weight throw with a mark of 22.04 meters (72-3).
After an impressive performance at the Iowa State Classic from Thomas Curtin, the Tech men are back in the top-10! pic.twitter.com/9Pl1MojofT— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) February 16, 2015
Volz's prior best of 17'3" was eclipsed twice during the meet, with a clear at 17'7" prior to his record jump of 17'10'5". Delays in measuring and verifying the record prevented any higher attempts that day. Although it was a national high school record, it still keeps Deakin at the number three spot in a family that has a tremendous pole vault tradition, behind older brother Drew Volz (18'1") and father Dave Volz (19'1"). Dave Volz finished fifth at the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain and currently coaches both Drew and Deakin.
"My phone rang just as Chris Uhle attempted an indoor school record of 18'3" at a meet here in Blacksburg. Chris was close but missed and then I called Deakin back and we learned about his performance. The whole squad was really excited to hear he had set the record," explained Bob Philips, the pole vault coach at Virginia Tech.
Volz will arrive in Blacksburg this coming Fall and plans to study business information technology.
Jared Allison sat down with baseball's Ricky Surum to discuss his goals and the goals of the Hokie pole vaulters this season.
First up is senior Sarah Rapp! This will be her second time competing at NCAAs in cross country. pic.twitter.com/Ju3E3a6YpG— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 18, 2014
Next is senior Paige Kvartunas, a two-time All-Region performer. Check back tomorrow to see who else will be at NCAAs pic.twitter.com/eRu3nrmq2Q— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 18, 2014
It's time to announce more Hokies that will be competing at NCAAs. Here is All-Region performer Shannon Morton! pic.twitter.com/fHmLvj0hpx— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 19, 2014
Next athlete up is Hilary Krein, a 2014 All-Region performer! pic.twitter.com/GWyj4tR2nd— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 19, 2014
Last but not least for today is Hannah Green, an All-American in track & field! pic.twitter.com/tF3kipMAAK— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 19, 2014
Time to announce more NCAA participants! First up is Katarina Smiljanec! pic.twitter.com/Sb77kJyD0P— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 20, 2014
Next up is Amanda Smith, a two-time ACC Champion in the 800! Check tomorrow to see who our final two runners are! pic.twitter.com/g4vBJnzmPl— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 20, 2014
Next runner at NCAAs is Abigail Motley! pic.twitter.com/lvbSMIfNqh— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) November 21, 2014
Schultze, Kruzliak named ACC Field Performers of the Year: Around The ACC http://t.co/ZBLW9euZbv— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) June 20, 2014
Cianelli announces 2014 recruiting class: 20 student-athletes join Hokie track & field for 2014 season http://t.co/a0cxWwFV7G— VT Track & Field (@VT_Track) July 24, 2014