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Tech to Host A-10 Track and Field Championship

Events begin 9:00am, May 1st at Johnson-Miller Complex.


April 30, 1999

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech track and field teams will host the 1999 Bell Atlantic Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at the Johnson-Miller Outdoor Track Complex on the Virginia Tech campus.

This is the second year Virginia Tech has hosted the conference championship. This year's participants will include teams from University of Dayton (women), Duquesne University (women), Fordham University, La Salle University, University of Massachusetts, University of Rhode Island, St. Joseph's University, Temple University and Virginia Tech.

On the women's side, it will be a battle for head coach Lori Taylor's squad. Tech will compete with UMass and Rhode Island for the outdoor conference crown and its third conference championship in as many years. During the indoor season, Tech came from behind and pulled out a victory at the conference meet over Rhode Island and UMass.

Brandi Smith (Portsmouth, Va.) will look to defend her 1998 A-10 Championship in the 400-meter hurdles while April Byrd (Fairfax, Va.) hopes to out jump the competition in the triple jump for the second consecutive year. Dee O'Connell (Kunkletown, Pa.) will defend her title in the javelin throw. Freshman Damali Hay will contend for the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash championships. Tech's 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams will hope to improve on their championship times from last season.

In the men's competition, Tech will defend its crown for the second year in a row. Tech has taken the last two outdoor titles and coach Russ Whitenack's team hopes to make it a third. Whitenack has several athletes contending for championships as well as six athletes hoping to defend their titles. All-American Erick Kingston (Stafford, Va.) is favored to win the hammer throw. Kingston set a new school record and won the hammer throw event at the Penn Relays last weekend. Currently, he is ninth on the NCAA Performance List.

Freshman Brian Hunter (Chesapeake, Va.) is favored to win the pole vault. His victory at the Penn Relays last weekend solidified him as a contender for All-American honors. Currently, Hunter is first on the A-10 Performance List for the pole vault and 15th on the NCAA Performance List. Andr Davis (Niskayuna, N.Y.) will run in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Davis will defend his crown in both events. Jarrett Ferguson (Goodview, Va.) will compete in the long jump. This event will be the first outdoor competition for both athletes as they are members of the Virginia Tech football team which concluded spring practice earlier this month. Ferguson will defend his A-10 title in the event.

Kevin Walker (Pamplin, Va.) will battle with Chris Stokes (Canton, Ohio) for the 110-meter hurdle crown. Walker won the event last season and is currently second (14.35) on the A-10 Performance List behind Stokes (13.48). The 4x400-meter relay team will battle against Temple for the title. Temple has the best time in the conference so far this season with a mark of 3:09.58. Tech is in second, with a time of 3:10.48.

In the distance events, Tech holds two best times in the conference in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter. Jason Dowdy will run the 5,000-meter for the Hokies while Chris Seaton will run the 10,000-meters. Dowdy holds the best time in the A-10 with a finish of 14:43.14 at the Raleigh Relays and Seaton is tops in the conference with a time of 30:49.10.

Events will begin at 9 a.m., on Saturday with the heptathlon and on Sunday at 9 a.m., with the decathlon.

For complete results from the Bell Atlantic Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships visit the website www.HokieSports.com.







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