Hokies post 16 top-five finishes at three meets

Akron Invitational Results | Rod McCravy Invitational Results | Camel City Invitational Results

Sixteen top-five finishes at the Akron, Camel City and Rod McCravy invites headlined Virginia Tech track and field on Saturday.

The Hokies split up and competed in three meets, including the Akron Invitational inside Stile Field House on Akron’s campus, the Camel City Invitational Elite at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Rod McCravy Invitational inside Nutter Field House on the campus of Kentucky.

In the mile at the Camel City Invitational Elite, Vincent Ciattei led quite the group as four Hokies ran around the prized four-minute mark. Ciattei clocked a time of 3 minutes, 59.57 seconds for fifth place, Patrick Joseph went 3:59.59 to place sixth, Neil Gourley was right behind in seventh with a time of 4:00.21 and Diego Zarate crossed the finish line in 4:03.55.

Ciattei’s time is the second-fastest ever in school history, while Joseph’s time is now No. 4.

The distance group wasn’t done there, as on the women’s side, Katie Kennedy turned in a time of 4:39.97 in the mile for a fifth-place finish. It was the second-fastest time in school history and was a personal best by 10 seconds.

The record book took another hit with Sarah Edwards running the sixth-fastest time in the 3,000 meters (9:20.46). The 800 was led by Rachel Pocratsky with a time of 2:05.06 for third place and Laurie Barton finished seventh with a 2:08.23.

“Some really solid performances today,” distance coach Ben Thomas said. “It was great to see first sub-four mile races for Ciattei.

“All should be NCAA qualifiers based on previous years. Neil’s 4:00.2 and Katie’s 4:39 should also get in, we’ll see. Pocratsky had a very solid 800 as well, with a mark that got into NCAAs last year.

"Overall, it was a good weekend. We’re still not as sharp as we can be but I feel like it’s coming around for us.”

At the Akron Invitational, the pole vaulters produced two top-five finishes. Junior Deakin Volz placed third with a mark of 5.35 meters (17 feet, 6.5 inches) and freshman Rachel Baxter vaulted a height of 3.98 meters (13 ft., 0.75 in.), taking fourth place.

“We had our best week of practice so far this year and excellent warm-up jumps,” pole vault coach Bob Phillips mentioned. “So it was disappointing not to have good results in the meet. The thing to do now is put it behind us and prepare for the Tyson Invitational coming up next weekend.”

Senior Mackenzie Muldoon finished in fourth place in the heptathlon at Akron, racking up 5,058 points, while freshman Matthew Manilli, in his first-ever collegiate heptathlon, put up 4,814 points to finish 11th. The duo’s best event on the day was when they went 1-2 in the 1,000 meters. Muldoon posted a time of 2:49.00 and Manilli with a 2:49.18.

“I’m really happy with the effort and performance of both guys in the heptathlon,” jumps/multi-events coach Paul Zalewski commented. “Both of them had good marks through the weekend and showed up ready to compete. I believe there is more to come when they line up at ACCs in a few weeks.”

In the triple jump, James Carver tallied a mark of 14.13 meters (46 ft., 4.25 in.) in his first-ever collegiate jump to place sixth and Stefanie Aeschlimann, competing for the first time since opening weekend, placed third.

Pavla Kuklova, who contends regularly in the outdoor hammer throw, tossed in the weight throw at the Rod McCravy Invitational with a mark of 17.99 meters (59 ft., 0.25 in.) to finish second, respectively. The mark sits No. 6 all-time in Tech history.

“I thought Pavla had a good opener today,” throws coach Andrew Dubs shared. “For her first-ever meet competing in the weight, she stayed focused and competed well. We’ll make some adjustments and look forward to next week at Clemson.”

The sprints/hurdles group was at Kentucky as well, and saw numerous personal bests. Caitlan Tate took third place in the 60-meter dash with a personal-best time of 7.43, and also clocked a personal-best time of 24.10 in the 200 meters to place sixth. Kennedy Dennis finished in the top eight in each event, too, placing sixth in the 60 and eighth in the 200.

On the men’s side in the sprints, Jared Bane led a group of Hokies in the 200 meters, crossing the finish line in 21.55 to place third – his highest finish in 2018. Keishaun Limehouse followed in seventh for his first time running the 200 at the college level, respectively, and Samuel Denmark and Joseph Tay went ninth and 10th to wrap up the quartet in the top 10.

Tay and Denmark also qualified for the finals in the 60, finishing seventh and eighth. Tay set a new personal best in the event. Limehouse placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, his second top-five finish of the season.

“We started off pretty good today, following an off weekend,” sprints/hurdles coach Tim Vaught stated. “Brandon Thomas ran a season-best time in the 400, and that’s at a faster pace than he did at this point last year.

Matthew Baker is continuing to get better, he had a huge PR today, and Jack Strollo ran his best-ever indoors 400. Jared Bane had a massive day in the 200 and continues to just keep getting better and better, as well. Every time he steps on the track, he keeps getting faster and faster.

“Caitlan was a double-double today, with setting personal bests in the 60 and 200 indoors – she had an outstanding day. Kennedy did solid in the 200, just being a few ticks off her personal best. Arlicia Bush had a great day with running her second-fastest indoor time in the 400. I’m excited to see her run next weekend.

“Overall, it was a good first meet after taking a meet off last weekend. We are looking forward to next week at Clemson where we will have the whole sprints/hurdles group.”


M 60
Joseph Tay

W 60
Caitlan Tate, 7.43
Ama-Selina Tchume

M 200
Jared Bane, 21.25
Keishaun Limehouse, 21.85
Samuel Denmark
Joseph Tay

W 200
Caitlan Tate, 24.10

M 400
Matthew Baker
Jack Strollo

M Mile
Vincent Ciattei, 3:59.57
Patrick Joseph, 3:59.59

W Mile
Katie Kennedy, 4:39.97

W 3,000
Sarah Edwards, 9:20.46

W Weight Throw
Pavla Kuklova, 17.99m (59’0.25”)

M Triple Jump
James Carver, 14.13m (46’4.25”)

M Heptathlon 1,000
Matthew Manilli, 2:49.18

M Heptathlon Score
Matthew Manilli, 4,814 points

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