Volz wins second straight collegiate meet

BLACKSBURG – After recording an indoor personal best and the fifth-best indoor vault in Tech history last weekend, sophomore Deakin Volz captured another first-place finish with a vault of 5.46 meters (17 feet, 11 inches) at the Penn State National Invitational held in State College, Pennsylvania on Friday evening.

A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Volz earned the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Field Performer of the Week honor for the week of Jan. 23, and it showed this evening, as he won his second straight collegiate meet for the first time in his young career.

“It was good experience for the vaulters, competing in another venue,” pole vault coach Bob Phillips said. “After a rough warmup, Deakin did a great job of competing. He pulled himself together and put up some really nice jumps for the win.”

Of note, this also marks the second year in a row that a Tech vaulter has won the Penn State National Invitational. Redshirt junior Torben Laidig reset the Virginia Tech track and field program record last season, reaching a new height of 5.56 meters (18 feet, 3 inches).

Additionally, redshirt senior Brad Johnson and redshirt junior James Steck placed sixth and ninth, respectively.

Redshirt junior Olivia Privitera was the lone Tech competitor on the women’s side, as the Framingham, Massachusetts, native recorded a first-place finish with a personal-best vault of 3.92 meters (12 feet, 10.25 inches). The win marked the first of her career.

Privitera’s previous top vault of 3.87 meters (12 feet, 8.25 inches) came last weekend at the Hokie Invitational. She finished fourth in that event.

The Hokies concluded competition at the Penn State National Invitational with four top-10 finishes.

A contingent of sprinters and hurdlers also competed at the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina this evening, and the Hokies recorded five top-10 finishes.

Junior transfer Greg Chiles continues to make his mark in Hokie uniform, highlighting the group with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash. The Chesapeake, Virginia, native recorded a personal-best time of 47.55 seconds and shattered the school record, breaking Jordan Price’s previous mark of 47.91, which was set in 2006. Of note, Chiles shaved off .71 seconds from his previous best of 48.26 seconds last weekend.

“Greg ran a very good race, and I think it is starting to click with him,” sprints, hurdles and relays coach Tim Vaught said. “I really think he has the potential to go 46 [seconds] indoors, and he is going to help the program out tremendously this year, especially going into ACCs.”

Senior Aaron Simpson advanced to the finals in the 60-meter hurdles and placed sixth overall with a time of 8.24 seconds.

“Aaron is consistently performing better and better every weekend,” Vaught said. “He is definitely going to step it up when it comes time for the ACC Championships and run what he needs to in order to score and be in the top eight.”

On the women’s side, freshman Arlicia Bush ran the 400-meter dash in 56.17 seconds to place eighth overall. Redshirt junior Jada Gundran recorded a personal best and placed 14th overall.

Junior Shanel Burr placed ninth overall in the 60-meter hurdles, narrowly missing the finals qualifying time after finishing in 8.65 seconds.

Tech will wrap up competition tomorrow with the 200-meter dash and the 4x400 relays. The women’s 200-meter sprint will begin at 12:55 p.m., followed by the men’s at 1:15 p.m. Competition will conclude with the women’s 4x400 relays starting at 2:35 p.m., followed by the men’s at 2:55 p.m.

Looking ahead, the Hokies return to Blacksburg next weekend, as the squad plays host to the Virginia Tech “Doc Hale” Elite Meet at Rector Field House on Feb. 3-4.


Women’s pole vault

Olivia Privitera (3.92 meters; 12 feet, 10.25 inches)


Jada Gundran (57.61 seconds)

Greg Chiles (47.55 seconds)


Bob Pollock Invitational - Men

Greg Chiles (4x4 relay)

Matthew Baker (4x4 relay)

Michael Davenport (200m and 4x4 relay)

Dante Price (200m and 4x4 relay)

Jared Bane (200m)

Bob Pollock Invitational - Women

Shanel Burr (200m)

Jada Gundran (4x4 relay)

Ama-Selina Tchume (200m and 4x4 relay)

Courtney Blanden (200m and 4x4 relay)

Arlicia Bush (4x4 relay)

Nora McKiver – unattached (200m)

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