June 7, 2016
Hokies set to compete at 2016 NCAA Championships
Track & field sends 12 to Eugene for the national meet
2016 NCAA Championships

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EUGENE, Ore. - The Virginia Tech track & field team sends a group of 12 of the nation’s best athletes to the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 8 through 11 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.

The group of 12 is the third largest in program history behind 16 in 2012 and 13 in 2010. The seventh-ranked men’s team qualified 10 for the national meet, including an event-most of four in the pole vault. The Hokies’ vaulters represent the largest group in the pole vault in Eugene, followed by Texas A&M with three and both Texas and Air Force with two apiece. Middle distance runner Hanna Green and javelin thrower Sabine Kopplin represent Tech’s women’s team.

Portions of each day’s NCAA Championship competition will be televised live on an ESPN platform. Wednesday’s televised action will start at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2, while Thursday’s event coverage will air on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m. and on ESPN at 8 p.m.

ESPN will provide coverage on Friday beginning at 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday beginning at 8:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Fans can also stream all four days online via ESPN3 beginning Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., Thursday at 1:30 p.m., Friday at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

The top 12 East Preliminary and top 12 West Preliminary qualifiers in each individual and relay event earned spots in the NCAA Championships. Below are more details about each of Tech’s qualifiers with their qualifying rank in parenthesis.

Men’s team (T-37th in 2015 with 7 points)

  • Marek Barta (12): The ACC Outdoor Championships’ discus silver medalist makes his second appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The sophomore reset his school record twice this season to a 61.38-meter (201-4) mark at the Virginia Challenge.
  • Thomas Curtin (1): The five-time all-American and three-time ACC 5,000-meter champion is on pace for the national title as the top seed heading into the meet. Curtin set the Virginia Tech program record at the Payton Jordan Invite to 13:33.88, placing fifth behind Syracuse’s Justyn Knight. The pair has traded victories throughout the season, however Curtin claimed the last two at ACCs and the East Regional.
  • Neil Gourley (22): After being the first one out in 2015, the Glasgow, Scotland native is making his first appearance in Eugene. The junior holds a personal best of 3:41.15 from the 2015 European Athletics Under-23 Championships. Gourley ran a 3:42.70 at the Payton Jordan Invite to highlight the 2016 season.
  • Brad Johnson (24): The junior is one of four pole vaulters, advancing to the national meet. The Virginia Beach native is making his second appearance in Eugene, after placing sixth at the ACC Championships to earn all-ACC second team honors. Johnson cleared a personal best 5.31 meters (17-5) at the Texas Relays.
  • Patrick Joseph (17): Outdoor school record holder in the 800, Joseph is making his first appearance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The junior set the program record of 1:47.29 in the semifinal of the 2016 ACC Championships, later going on to earn the silver medal in the event behind Wake Forest’s Robert Heppenstall.
  • Tomas Kruzliak (15): The 2013 national champion returns to Eugene for his final time in the hammer throw for the fourth year. The senior ranks fourth in program history with his 70.84-meter (232-5) mark in 2013. The Nitra, Slovakia native threw a season best 69.94 meters (229-5) at the Virginia challenge.
  • Torben Laidig (12): Indoor and outdoor program record holder, Laidig is making his second appearance in Eugene as the 12th seed. The sophomore ranks fifth in the nation following his 5.60-meter (18-4.5) clearance at the Texas Relays.
  • Matija Muhar (5): One of two Muhar brothers on the Tech team, the freshman is ranked 10th nationally from his ACC Championship throw of 75.60 meters (248-0). Muhar ranks second in program history and is one of four of Tech’s 2016 ACC Champions in Eugene.
  • Chris Uhle (11): The two-time ACC Champion is making his second and final trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Powell, Ohio native holds a personal best 5.52 meters (18-1.25) from the 2015 ACC Indoor Championships. The senior ranks fourth in program history with his outdoor best of 5.47 meters (17-11.25) at the 2016 Hokie Twlight meet.
  • Deakin Volz (13): The indoor all-American and bronze medalist is one of two freshmen competing for the Hokies in Eugene. The Bloomington, Indiana native cleared 5.46 meters during his collegiate debut at the Virginia Tech Invite. Volz earned the silver medal at the ACC Outdoor Championship and holds an outdoor best mark of 5.41 meters (17-9) at the Duke Invite.
  • Women’s team (T-15th in 2015 with 16 points)

  • Hanna Green (2): The three-time first team all-American and ACC Champion makes her second NCAA Outdoor appearance, fourth overall. Green is the school record holder for both the indoor and outdoor 800 meters. The junior set the outdoor record of 2:01.17 at the 2015 national championships where she placed third. Her indoor record came in the same year at the indoor championships, clocking in at 2:03.18. Green ran a season best, Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:02.45 to win the ACC Championships, just ahead of Duke’s Anima Banks.
  • Sabine Kopplin (20): The senior Filderstadt, Germany native is making her final appearance in Eugene, following her 47.42-meter (155-7) mark to place 12th in the javelin. The 2016 season marks Kopplin’s third consecutive trip to the national meet, finishing seventh in 2014 and 15th in 2015. Kopplin holds a personal best of 53.09 meters (174-2) from 2014’s East Regional with a 2016 best of 48.58 meters at the Florida Relays.
  • Competition for the Hokies begins on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Hayward Field.

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