May 14, 2016
Tech men stay in first place after second day at ACC Championships
Eva Vivod headlined the day for the women with a silver medal in the javelin
2016 ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Results from Day No. 2 of competition

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Virginia Tech men’s track and field team used the day for positioning and the women’s team brought home two medals to highlight Saturday’s action at the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Mike Long Track.

The men’s team only added seven points to its team total, but the Hokies remained in first place with 64 points. They lead second-place Virginia by 21 points.

“It was a good day,” said Dave Cianelli, Tech’s director of track and field and cross country. “Even though we didn’t have that many in finals today, we qualified a good number of people in finals tomorrow. With the guys in the 800, the 1,500, Darius [Watkins] in the 200, the guys in the javelin, the triple jump, the discus, and having the 5,000 at the end … I feel good about where we are.

“The guys that ran today did a great job. I think they’ve put us in a good position and they’re in the right frame of mind for tomorrow. Now they have to come out and compete one more day.”

The day ended for the Hokies with three runners competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event – and two of them scored points. Darren Barlow finished sixth with a time of 8 minutes, 50.38 seconds and Stuart Robertson came in seventh with a time of 8:50.56. The top eight finishers in an event score points toward the team total.

“I’m really proud of them,” Cianelli said. “Even Daniel Jaskowak came in 10th and they’ve kind of struggled this spring a little bit, but they really put it together when it counted. I think they’ve put us in a good position.”

The Hokies’ Mackenzie Muldoon also added to the men’s total by finishing seventh in the decathlon with a personal-best 6,576 points. Muldoon recorded personal bests in four of the five events on Saturday – the 110-meter hurdles (15.08 seconds), the discus (111 feet, 4 inches), the javelin (140 feet, 7 inches), and the 1,500-meter run (4:53.03).

Two Tech runners positioned themselves to help with the team scoring, as both Vincent Ciattei and Patrick Joseph qualified for the finals in the 800, which will be held Sunday. Both of them won their respective heats, with Ciattei finishing in a personal-best time of 1:47.91 and Joseph also recording a personal best, with a time of 1:47.29.

Kevin Cianfarani also ran in the 800 and ran a personal-best time of 1:49.53. He finished ninth overall, coming up one spot short of the finals.

On the women’s side, Tech stood in fourth place with 29.10 points. Florida State led the team race with 58 points followed by Virginia (36) and Louisville (31).

Tech garnered two medals when Eva Vivod and Sabine Kopplin came in second and third, respectively, in the javelin. Vivod led for much of the competition with a toss of 171 feet, 8 inches (52.33 meters), but Wake Forest’s Jessie Merckle tossed the javelin 178 feet, 6 inches (54.41 meters) on her next-to-last throw and that mark stood.

It marked the second silver medal for Vivod in the javelin, as she came in second at the 2014 ACC Outdoor Championships. Kopplin, whose best toss was 158 feet, 6 inches, won her second ACC medal. She claimed bronze also in 2014.

The big news of the day, though, came when Tech’s national champion in the javelin, Irena Sediva, pulled up on her first throw. Battling an Achilles injury coming into the competition, Sediva was forced to pull out and thus was unable to defend her ACC crown.

“We were expecting a little more there, but sometimes that’s how it falls,” Cianelli said. “We’ve got Hanna [Green] in the 800 and Rachel [Pocratsky] in the 1,500. I think we’re going to end up about where I expected at the end of the day. We’re about a year away from making a team run with the women. I want them to compete well and find out what it’s like to be at this meet.

“It’s a learning experience for some of them. It takes a little experience at this meet because the conference meet brings out the best in these athletes. We’re a year away to piece together a broad enough team to be in the team hunt.”

Green qualified for the finals in the 800-meter run, which will be held Sunday. Green, who easily won her heat in a time of 2:06.15, won the 800 at the league’s indoor meet and finished second in the event last year at the ACC Outdoor Championships.

Other Hokies who competed but did not qualify for the finals in their respective events included David Prince (16th, long jump), Shanel Burr (14th, 100 hurdles), Jada Gundran (24th, 100 hurdles), Shannon Quinn (14th, 800), and Shalonda Mitchell (26th, 800).

The final day of action at the ACC Championships begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday with the men’s javelin. Jaka Muhar and Matija Muhar will be competing for the Hokies.

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