BLACKSBURG, Va. – Junior All-American Ronnie Black set the school record in the indoor high jump-the second Virginia Tech school record in as many days-as the Hokie men’s and women’s track & field teams competed on the second and final day of the VT Invitational at Rector Field House on Saturday. The Newport News, Va. native, opened the day for Tech by setting the school record in the event with a winning clearance of 7 feet, three and one quarter inches (2.22m).
In the process, Black beat one of the oldest records in Tech track history as Steve Whaley’s mark of 7-1 (2.16m) was set in 1983. Although he faltered at the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 7-4.25 (2.24m), Black now holds both the indoor and outdoor high jump (7-1.5, 2.17m) school records. He also joins teammate Keith Ricks, who reset his own school record in the 60 meter dash yesterday at 6.64 seconds, as Tech athletes who set school records this weekend.
“We have a lot of work to do between now and the ACC Championships, but we had several outstanding performances this weekend,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Dave Cianelli. “Keith Ricks in the 60 meters, breaking the school record in 6.64, which is a great early season time and currently tied for the national lead. Also, Ronnie Black in the high jump today breaking school record with a big PR of 2.22 meters, was outstanding. Finally, I thought the men’s 4x400-meter relay also turned in a strong effort.”
The Hokie pole vault crew enjoyed a number of solid performances on the day. Redshirt senior Hunter Hall, competing unattached, and senior All-American Joe Davis each cleared 17-1.5 (5.22m) to finish third and fourth, respectively. Freshman Chris Uhle had a best clearance of 16-7.5 (5.07m) for sixth. In addition, redshirt freshman Matt Hoogland and senior Mike Miller each cleared 15-1.75 (4.62m).
In the women’s pole vault, sophomore Kristen Brown finished in a tie for second and matched her indoor personal best with a jump of 12-9.5 (3.90m), while redshirt sophomore Leigh Allin set her indoor personal best at 12-3.5 (3.75m), good for a tie for fifth.
Senior Hasheem Halim moved into third place all-time at Tech with a personal best effort of 23-11 (7.29m) in the men’s long jump. He finished in sixth place overall. The Hokies picked up two top-5 finishes in the women’s 400 meters as junior Yvonne Amegashie was third in 55.89 and freshman Leah Nugent was fifth in 57.17. Junior Jonathan McCants won heat two of the men’s 400 meters in an indoor personal best of 48.50 and finished second overall.
The women’s 4x400 meter relay team of junior Jameice DeCoster, Amegashie, junior Natalie Woodford and senior Aunye Boone were third in 3:43.61, while the men’s 4x400m team of junior Jeff Artis-Gray, sophomore Darrell Wesh, senior Keith Ricks and McCants was second in 3:13.93.
Tech returns to action next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20-21, back at Rector Field House as it hosts the Hokie Invitational.
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