Tech wraps up regular season with Virginia Tech Challenge

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BLACKSBURG – Following another record setting weekend, the Virginia Tech track and field teams return to action Friday when both squads compete in the Virginia Tech Challenge held over the course of two days, Feb. 17-18, at Rector Field House on the university’s campus.

This marks the fourth and final home event for the Hokies this season, as the two-day event is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Friday. Saturday’s field events start at 11 a.m., followed by running events at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free for all fans and parking is available in the lots surrounding Rector Field House. Fans can follow @VT_Track on Twitter for updates and additional information.

Overall, 14 schools in the Atlantic Region are scheduled to compete, with Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State representing the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Additionally, Tech’s men’s squad ranks No. 17 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top 25 Poll for the week of Feb. 13.

In their last weekend of competition, the men’s 4x400 relay team of Drew Piazza, Greg Chiles, Brandon Thomas and Michael Davenport came in first place to headline the Hokies’ track and field performances at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee. The quartet’s time of 3:11.11 broke a school record that had been in place for 18 years. Chiles reset the program record in the 400, eclipsing a new season-best time of 47.42 seconds. His time currently ranks fourth in the conference.

Katie Kennedy also led the women’s team by coming in second in the 3,000, while the women’s distance medley relay team of Hanna Green, Courtney Blanden, Rachel Pocratsky and Laurie Barton ran the fastest time in the ACC this season and the ninth-fastest time in the nation.

Of note, the Tech vaulters on the men's side hold four of the top five spots in the conference. Torben Laidig ranks No. 1 with a season-best height of 5.52 meters (18 ft., 1.25 in.) set at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet on Feb. 4, followed by Deakin Volz at No. 2 with a career-best vault of 5.51 meters (18 ft., 1 in.) set at the Penn State National Invitational on Jan. 27. Laidig and Volz also boast the fifth- and sixth-best vault in the nation, respectively.

Looking ahead, the Hokies will prep for the 2016 ACC Indoor Championships set for Feb. 23-25, held on Notre Dame’s campus, in South Bend, Indiana.

For updates on Virginia Tech track & field, follow the Hokies on Twitter