Hokies open 2017 outdoor season with a bang

Weems Baskin Invitational

Day One Results

Live Results

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech track and field teams opened its 2017 outdoor season with a bang, recording a trio of first-place finishes on the first day of the Weems Baskin Invitational, held Friday on South Carolina’s campus in Columbia, South Carolina.

Redshirt junior Jada Gundran of the No. 20 women’s team placed first in her section of the 400-meter dash. The No. 21 men’s squad followed suit with freshmen Matthew Reinhart and Michael Davenport’s first-place finishes in the javelin and 100 meters, respectively. Of note, the Hokies completed day one of the two-day invitational with 10 top-10 marks.

The meet started off with the women’s hammer throw, as the Tech throwers claimed three of the top-five spots in the event. First-team All-ACC honoree Pavla Kuklova led the way with a career best 62.61-meter throw (205 ft., 5 in.) – good enough for second place. The sophomore now ranks fourth in the event on Tech’s all-time list. Additionally, freshmen Emma Thor and Kajsa Wennberg made their Hokie debut in the event, finishing in third (61.02 meters) and fifth (55.97 meters), respectively. Thor’s throw is the sixth-best mark in the event in school history, while Wennberg’s throw ranks seventh.

Reinhart also made his collegiate debut and continued Tech’s success in the field events on the men’s side with a 58.00-meter javelin throw (190 ft., 3 in.), winning his first collegiate meet of his career.

Gundran and freshman Amanda Thomas began the day on the track for the Hokies in the 400-meter dash, finishing in first and seventh, respectively. Gundran set a new personal-best mark with a time of 56.46 seconds, while Thomas finished her first collegiate race of the outdoor season in 58.23 seconds.

On the men’s side, senior Alexander Merritt and junior Austin Kolko both recorded career-best times in their section of the 400, placing sixth and ninth, respectively. Merritt clocked a career-best time of 49.73 seconds, while Kolko crossed the finish line with a lifetime-best mark of 50.18.

Davenport, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Indoor Track Freshmen of the Year, raced to a first-place finish in the 100 meters with a time of 10.51 seconds – good enough for ninth on Tech’s all-time list. Junior Darius Watkins was not far behind him, finishing in 10.71 for third place. Junior MacKenzie Muldoon also competed in the event, placing 28th overall.

The Hokies’ rounded out the first day with the men’s long jump led by Muldoon’s 11th place result, as he leaped a total of 6.60 meters (21 ft., 8 in.) in the event.

The final day of South Carolina’s Weems Baskin Invitational takes place tomorrow beginning at 9 a.m. ET. The Hokies first event is schedule for 11 a.m., as both the men’s and women’s squad take on the 4x100-meter relay. The running events will continue throughout the afternoon, while the Hokie men have three competitors participating in the field events.

Admission is $8 for a weekend pass and $5 for a single day pass. Tickets may be purchased on-site at Cregger Track. There are no advance ticket sales.

Looking ahead, Tech will go its separate ways and compete at four different meets next weekend, as the Hokies set to compete at the Texas Relays, the Florida Relays, the High Point Meeting and the Wofford Relays from March 30 – April 1.

Fans can follow all the action during each match of the 2017 outdoor season by following the squad on Twitter and Instagram.


Hammer throw

Pavla Kuklova (62.61 meters)

Kajsa Wennberg (55.97 meters)

Emma Thor (61.02 meters)


Matthew Reinhart (58.00 meters)

400 meters

Jada Gundran (56.46)

Amanda Thomas (58.23)

Alexander Merritt (49.73)

Austin Kolko (50.18)

100 meters

Michael Davenport (10.51)

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