Sprinters finish strong at the Weems Baskin Invitational

Weems Baskin Invitational
Final Results

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech track and field teams received strong performances from its sprinters and hurdlers, as the Hokies ran away with nine top-five marks, including a gold medal from junior Greg Chiles in the 400-meter hurdles, on the final day of the Weems Baskin Invitational, held Saturday on South Carolina’s campus in Columbia, South Carolina.

On the No. 21 men’s side, Chiles sprinted to a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking a personal-best time of 51.31 seconds. The Chesapeake, Virginia, native now shows the second-fastest mark in the event in program history and sits behind Tech alum Justin Davis, who owns a school-record time of 51.28 seconds set in 1999. Junior Austin Kolko and senior Alexander Merritt also competed in the event, placing ninth and 18th, respectively.

Tech’s day started off with the men’s 4x100-meter relay, as the Hokie quartet of Chiles, junior Darius Watkins and freshmen Michael Davenport and Brandon Thomas raced to a fifth-place finish in the event with a time of 40.82 seconds.

Thomas led the way in the men’s 400 meters, placing ninth overall with a lifetime-best time of 48.06 seconds. Sophomore Jack Strollo and freshman Matthew Baker also clocked personal bests in the event, crossing the finish line in 17th and 18th place, respectively. Senior Corey Hackett-Greene came in at 21st overall.

Four Hokies also competed in the men’s 200-meter run. Davenport finished fourth with a personal-best time of 20.96 seconds. Watkins came in 12th with a mark of 21.33 seconds, and sophomore Jared Bane placed 19th overall with a time of 21.58 seconds. Senior Dante Price also ran in the event, placing 30th overall with a mark of 21.88 seconds.

Additionally, the Hokies sported two 4x400-meter relay teams. The four-member crew of Chiles, Davenport, Strollo and Thomas led the way with a time of 3 minutes, 16.47 seconds for sixth place, while the Hokie quartet of junior Mackenzie Muldoon, Baker, Bane and Watkins placed 12th with a time of 3:21.07.

Of note, senior Aaron Simpson competed in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, placing 14th overall, while Price participated in the men’s 100-meter dash, placing 23rd overall.

While the running events were going on, junior Collin McKenny placed fifth in the discus event with a 48.04-meter throw (157 ft., 7 in.). Sophomore James Carver and junior Will Kendall also competed in the men’s high jump, with Carver jumping a height of 1.93 meters (6 ft., 4 in.) to share a tie for seventh place overall.

The No. 20 women’s side also started its day off with the 4x100-meter relay. The four-member crew of senior Nora McKiver, juniors Courtney Blanden and Ama-Selina Tchume and freshman Arlicia Bush earned a second-place finish with a time of 45.06 seconds. The Hokie women finished just .20 seconds behind South Carolina’s team, who placed first overall in the event.

Blanden had herself a day, as she earned second- and fourth-place finishes in the women’s 200- and 400-meter dashes, respectively, clocking personal bests in both events. The Weddington, North Carolina, native now owns the third-best mark on Tech’s all-time list in the 200 meters (23.33 seconds) and also shows the fourth-fastest time in the 400 meters (53.96 seconds) in program history.

Of note, Bush earned a third-place finish in the women’s 400 meters with a lifetime-best time of 53.29 seconds – good enough for third on Tech’s all-time list. Tchume also placed seventh overall in the 200 and 14th overall in the 400.

In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, McKiver and freshman Amanda Thomas earned lifetime-best times placing seventh (1:00.83) and 16th (1:04.32), respectively. Redshirt junior Jada Gundran also competed in the event, placing ninth with a time of 1:01.65.

Lastly, the Hokie quartet of Blanden, Tchume, McKiver and Bush raced to a second-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay, finishing in 3 minutes, 38.78 seconds to close out the two-day event.

Up next, 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.


400 meters

Courtney Blanden (53.96)

Arlicia Bush (53.29)

Brandon Thomas (48.06)

Jack Strollo (49.07)

Matthew Baker (49.43)

400 hurdles

Nora McKiver (1:00.83)

Amanda Thomas (1:04.32)

Greg Chiles (51.31)

200 meters

Courtney Blanden (23.33)

Michael Davenport (20.96)

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