February 27, 2016
Green claims gold in 800 at ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships
The Tech men finished in fifth place, while the women came in 12th
2016 ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships

Complete results from the Championships

Virginia Tech's All-ACC indoor track selections

BOSTON – Virginia Tech runner Hanna Green defended her championship in the 800-meter run, winning the event on the final day of the 2016 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships held Friday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

The women’s squad, behind Green, came in 12th place with 25.5 points. Miami took home the women’s crown with 85 points. On the men’s side, Syracuse won the men’s title with 88 points. The Tech men’s team – the defending ACC indoor champion – finished in fifth place with 58 points.

“It’s always disappointing when you have certain expectations and it doesn’t come together the way you plan,” Tech director of track and field and cross country Dave Cianelli said. “But that’s the way it happens sometimes. It happens that way in life and it happens that way in athletics that it doesn’t work out like you plan.

“What caught up with us was that we had certain people injured – key people. Patrick Joseph was out with mono and Manuel Ziegler has been nursing an injury. He couldn’t go. We couldn’t afford that and still really have a legitimate shot. We didn’t necessarily have a great meet, even with the people that we had here.

“But if we can regroup and get healthy and get everyone together, I think we’ve got an excellent shot at Florida State in May.”

Green headlined the Hokies’ efforts on the final day, winning easily in a time of 2 minutes, 4.76 seconds. A year ago at Tech’s Rector Field House, Green edged Clemson’s Natoya Goule in a meet record time of 2:03.43, but she had no worries this time around. She won by more than a second over Duke’s Anima Banks.

“It wasn’t super hard, but I feel like I haven’t had a real fast race – one that’s really pushed me,” Green said. “It was much less stressful this time. This is what I had hoped for. I wanted another ACC title, so I’m happy with it.”

“She pretty much controlled that final,” Cianelli said. “She’s very confident right now. She’s continuing to develop. She’s at a national class already, but she’s ready to take that next step.”

The Hokies’ Rachel Pocratsky, a freshman from Olney, Maryland, finished fourth in the same event, running the race in a personal-best time of 2:06.45.

The Tech women also got a strong performance from Nora McKiver in the 200-meter dash. The junior from High Point, North Carolina came in fourth with a personal-best time of 23.84 seconds. It marked her highest finish at an ACC Championships event.

The Hokies’ 4x400-meter relay team provided the final points for the women’s team. The quartet of McKiver, Green, Pocratsky and Courtney Blanden finished sixth in a time of 3:43.50.

Also competing for the Tech women on the final day but not scoring, Abigail Motley and Lauren Berman came in 20th and 22nd in the 3,000-meter run with times of 9:38.76 and 9:44.82, respectively.

The Tech men went into the final day with hopes of defending their 2015 indoor championship, but the Hokies came up short despite getting solid performances from Neil Gourley, Darren Barlow, Thomas Curtin, Daniel Jaskowak and their pole vaulters.

Gourley, a junior from Glasgow, Scotland, won a bronze medal in the 800, running the race in a time of 1:48.10. He broke the school record of 1:48.76 held previously by Ryan Witt, who set the mark in 2012.

Gourley stood in fifth or sixth for much of the race, but a late kick propelled him into third place. Wake Forest’s Robert Heppenstall won the race with a time of 1:47.35.

Barlow came in seventh place in the mile with a personal-best time of 4:04.67.

In the 3,000-meter run, Curtin and Jaskowak added points for the Hokies, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. Curtin, who came in second in the 5,000 less than 24 hours earlier, ran the race in a time of 8:07.53, while Jaskowak ran it in 8:08.53. Andrew Gaiser finished 10th, Stuart Robertson in 23rd and Andrew Goldman in 26th.

Tech went second, third, fourth, fifth and eighth in the pole vault, though it was disappointed at not winning the gold medal. Notre Dame’s Nate Richartz won the event with a best vault of 17 feet, 11 inches.

Torben Laidig took silver for the Hokies with a best mark of 17 feet, 1.5 inches and Brad Johnson won a bronze medal with the same mark. Deakin Volz also reached that mark, but Laidig and Johnson reached it in fewer attempts. James Steck came in fifth for Tech and Jared Allison was eighth.

The Hokies now wait to see how many of their athletes qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships held in Birmingham, Alabama on March 11-12. Then the outdoor season begins – which may play to the strengths of their squads given that they possess some good hammer throwers, javelin throwers and discus throwers, three outdoor events.

“In 2012, the last time we were up here, it was kind of the same scenario,” Cianelli said. “We came in with a very legitimate chance to win and did not have a good meet. Florida State won pretty handily. We came back to the ACC outdoor meet in Charlottesville and we won. That was one of the best team meets we’ve ever had. Everything just clicked and everyone did what they were supposed to do or exceeded expectations. Everything fell together.

“I feel this same thing can happen. It’s just a matter of getting everyone there healthy and I think we have an excellent chance of being right there. I think we have a little more margin for error just because of the additional events.”

On another note, the ACC Championships served as the point in the Commonwealth Clash, presented by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of Virginia Tech Athletics. With a higher finish today from the Virginia men’s track and field and the Virginia women’s track and field, the Cavaliers have added two points for their school to the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. The score for the Clash is now the University of Virginia (7) and Virginia Tech (3.5). Learn more about Virginia529 and this new competition at www.thecommonwealthclash.com.

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