Women's 4x800 school-record mark highlights final day of Tennessee Relays

The 4x800-meter relay team of the No. 15-ranked Virginia Tech women’s track and field team set a new school-record time to headline the Hokies’ efforts in the final day of the Tennessee Relays held Saturday at the University of Tennessee’s Tom Black Track in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The No. 18 men’s 4x800-meter relay team and the men’s distance medley relay team also were winners for the Hokies, as both squads closed out the three-day event in fine fashion.

However, no performance was better than the Hokie quartet of seniors Hanna Green and Shannon Morton and freshmen Catherine Stone and Sarah Edwards. The four-member crew ran the event together for the first time this season, crossing the line in 8 minutes, 47.24 seconds – good enough for a silver-medal finish. Saturday’s mark broke a five-year-old record set by Smiljanec, Smith, Dowd and Kvartunas in 2012. The previous program best was listed at 8:47.76, as the Hokie quartet broke the time by .52 seconds. Of note, Vanderbilt’s team placed first with a time of 8:38.34.

The men’s 4x800-meter relay team of seniors Patrick Joseph, Drew Piazza, Daniel Jaskowak and Neil Gourley nearly broke a school record in the event, finishing in 7:22.31 for the win. Of note, the current program record stands at 7 minutes, 21.28 seconds set by McLaughlin, Degfae, Hammond and Witt in 2011. Of note, Saturday’s mark currently sits in third on Tech’s all-time list.

In the men’s distance medley relay, the Hokie quartet of senior Alexander Merritt, junior Vincent Ciattei and sophomores Peter Seufer and Diego Zarate placed first with a time of 9:46.15 – good enough for second on the program’s top-10 list.

Additionally, the women’s distance medley relay team (11:38.06) and the men’s 1,600-meter sprint medley (3:24.28) both earned third-place finishes in their respective events.

While the running events were going on, the Hokie vaulters earned three top-10 finishes in both the men’s and women’s event combined. Sophomore Deakin Volz and senior Brad Johnson placed third and sixth, respectively, in the men’s event. Volz recorded a mark of 5.10 meters (16 ft., 8.75 in.), while Johnson vaulted a height of 4.95 meters (16 ft., 2.75 in.). Senior Erica Hjerpe also vaulted to a fifth-place finish on the women’s side, jumping a total of 4.10 meters (13 ft., 5.25 in.).

Looking ahead, the Hokies will take a week off before competing at three different meets the weekend of April 21-22.

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

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