Tech relay teams advance at Texas Relays

The nationally-ranked Virginia Tech track and field teams wrapped up a successful first day of competition at three prestigious meets on Friday.

The men’s 4x400-meter relay team highlighted the Hokies’ first day of competition at the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, presented by Spectrum, held at the University of Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.

The Hokie quartet of juniors Darius Watkins and Greg Chiles and freshmen Michael Davenport and Brandon Thomas advanced to the finals in the 4x400 relay, finishing with a season-best time of 3 minutes, 9.96 seconds. The four-crew member placed second in its heat and third overall, nearly missing the school record in the event by .01 second. The second-record time currently stands at 3:09.95 set back in 2012.

The women’s 4x100-meter relay team of juniors Ama-Selina Tchume, Courtney Blanden and Nora McKiver and freshman Arlicia Bush also advanced to tomorrow’s final with a time of 45.37 seconds, placing second in its heat and ninth overall in the preliminary round.

Of note, senior Erica Hjerpe placed sixth overall in her section of the women’s pole vault event, jumping a height of 4.06 meters (13 ft., 3.75 in.). Chiles also finished in sixth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles event, clocking a time of 51.80 seconds.

The meet will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday with Tech’s first event starting at 2:35 p.m. ET For more information on the Texas Relays click HERE.

Additionally, a contingent of distance runners made their outdoor debut at the VertKlasse Meeting Friday evening hosted by High Point University in High Point, North Carolina.

The No. 21 Hokie men went 1-2-3 in the 1,500-meter race with sophomore Peter Seufer earning gold in the event with a time of 3 minutes, 50.99 seconds. Sophomore Andrew Goldman placed second with a personal-best time of 3:51.06, followed by senior Ashkan Mohammadi in third with a mark of 3:53.24. Freshman Jack Joyce also earned a top-five finish, crossing the finish line in 3:54.25 – good enough for fifth place overall.

The No. 20 Hokie women followed suit and collected four top-10 finishes, including two of the top three spots, in the 1,500-meter run. Freshman Kayla Richardson led the pack, finishing the race in 4 minutes, 32.76 seconds – a personal-best mark. High Point’s Keaton Case won the event with a meet-record time of 4:31.99. Of note, Richardson, a native of Blacksburg, Virginia, also was under the previous meet-record time of 4:32.82 set in 2009.

Sophomore Jennifer Fleming came in third with a career-best time of 4:34.15. Freshman Sara Freix and junior Abigail Motley rounded out the top 10, placing eighth (4:37.48) and 10th (4:39.27), respectively.

Additionally, junior Katie Kennedy and freshman Sarah Edwards earned top-three finishes in the women’s 5,000-meter race, crossing the line in second and third, respectively. Kennedy finished with a career-best time of 17 minutes, 15.62 seconds, shaving a total of 12.27 seconds off her previous mark. Edwards ran the race for the first time in her collegiate career, clocking a lifetime-best time of 17:35.30.

The Tech vaulters will round out the group at High Point’s VertKlasse Meeting tomorrow, with senior Jeffrey Linta and juniors Olivia Privitera and Hannah Meador participating in the event. Freshman James Carver also is entered into this weekend’s invitational, competing in the men’s high jump event.

Of note, the Big South Conference will provide a live video stream on Saturday starting with the men’s pole vault at 12:30 p.m. For more information on the VertKlasse Meeting click HERE.

Lastly, the Hokie throwers closed out the 2017 Pepsi Florida Relays with three top-10 finishes on the women’s’ side at the University of Florida’s James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track.

Freshman Kajsa Wennberg earned a fourth-place finish in the women’s hammer throw college event, throwing a distance of 57.34 meters (188 ft., 1 in.) on her final attempt – also good enough for a personal-best mark. Freshman Emma Thor and junior Pavla Kuklova also competed in the women’s hammer throw college invitational, placing fifth and seventh, respectively. Thor recorded a career-best mark of 64.69 meters (212 ft., 3 in.) on her last attempt, while Kuklova threw a distance of 62.24 meters (204 ft., 2 in.) on her fourth attempt.

Junior Collin McKenny was the lone competitor on the men’s side, as he placed 22nd overall in the men’s discus event with a 46.70-meter throw (153 ft., 2 in.).

Looking ahead, the Hokies will divide and conquer once again, competing at both the Tennessee Relays and the Spec Town Relays on April 7-8.

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


1,500 meters

Kayla Richardson (4:32.76)

Jennifer Fleming (4:34.15)

Sara Freix (4:37.48)

Catherine Stone (4:48.36)

Andrew Goldman (3:51.06)

Jack Joyce (3:54.25)

Fitsum Seyoum (4:02.44)

Owen Buck (4:08.81)

5,000 meters

Katie Kennedy (17:15.62)

Sarah Edwards (17:35.30)

Hammer throw

Emma Thor (64.69 meters)

Kajsa Wennberg (57.34 meters)

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

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