Thor wins hammer, Seufer claims second 10K title on Day 1 at ACC Outdoor Championships

  • ACC Outdoor Championships


CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Emma Thor won the hammer throw and Peter Seufer earned his second straight 10,000-meter race title, highlighting Virginia Tech track and field on the first day of the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Cobb Stadium on Thursday.

The bulk of the Hokies’ points for the women came from the hammer and pole vault events, as four of Tech’s six student-athletes racked up 32 points. Tech finished Day 1 with 37 points, the most of any ACC team. The men are tied for fifth with 10 points.

“Overall, it was an outstanding day,” director of track and field and cross country Dave Cianelli said. “The finals that we had today, the individuals really came through, competed well and placed either where we expected or even higher.

“But even more importantly, the majority of the 1,500-meter runners qualified to the finals for Saturday – that was a huge boost as well. It was a really, really great first day. It is still a long meet, but I was really happy of how things went today.”

On her last throw, Pavla Kuklova threw a season-best mark of 63.20 meters (207 feet, 4 inches) to take the lead. However, fellow teammate Thor edged the Czech Republic native on her final throw to win it with a mark of 64.04 meters (207 feet, 4 inches). Thor earned her first-ever ACC title and Kuklova got silver for the second straight year.

“The goal going into it was going 1-2, but we knew it was going to be difficult,” throws coach Andrew Dubs commented. “I was impressed of how they dealt with each round individually and stayed focused, especially to do it in a championship setting. It was a huge 18 points.”

The pole vault group on the women’s side racked up 14 points of their own, as freshmen Lisa Gunnarsson and Rachel Baxter earned silver and bronze. Gunnarsson cleared a height of 4.45 meters (14 feet, 7.25 inches) and Baxter tallied a mark of 4.35 meters (14 feet, 3.25 inches). It marked the second straight ACC meet that the duo took a step on the podium. Redshirt senior Olivia Privitera finished up her last ACC meet with the best mark of her career at ACCs, vaulting a mark of 3.90 meters (12 feet, 9.5 inches) to place 11th.

“The quality right now in the top half of the ACC in the pole vault is just outstanding,” pole vault coach Bob Phillips shared. “We knew it was going to be a battle, and although we didn't come away with the top spot this time, the girls competed really well and picked up about what we thought in terms of points.”

The final five points collected by the women was accomplished by distance runner Sara Freix, who scored for the first time in her career in a big way. The sophomore crossed the finish line in 34 minutes, 53.13 seconds in the 10,000 meters to place fourth.

In the 1,500-meter preliminary race, seven Hokies competed on each side combined and six qualified for finals. Sarah Edwards (4:22.50) took fifth, Katie Kennedy (4:22.82) placed sixth and Rachel Pocratsky (4:24.61) finished ninth. The men’s Diego Zarate (3:43.38) placed second, Andrew Goldman (3:47.66) went seventh and Vincent Ciattei (3:48.88) got eighth.

“I’m just super proud of our ladies given how tough of a meet this is to come in and execute everything right,” distance coach Ben Thomas mentioned. “They executed mentally really strong and that got us off to a great start.

“For Sara [Freix] to finish the day with her best-ever finish at an ACC championship, going fourth in the 10K, was huge, along with what we did in the pole vault and the hammer. I couldn’t be happier after Day 1 for the girls.”

Seufer, who won the 10,000 meters last year in Atlanta, picked up where he left off and outpaced five Syracuse student-athletes who placed 2-3, 5-7. The redshirt sophomore won his second consecutive title in a time of 29:58.61, making a move for first on the final lap and never looking back.

“Again, to come in and repeat as a 10K champion in this league where there are so many great distance runners due to it being such a distance-heavy conference is just great,” Thomas stated. “Peter ran such a tough race. He was really disappointed in how his indoor ACC races went, so I think it was a wakeup call and he has been really zeroed in and now he is coming around at the right time.

“But it was a great day for the guys, getting three through the 1,500 meters is huge. We are ready for Friday.”

The sprints saw Greg Chiles and Austin Kolko qualify for the finals in the 400-meter hurdles. Chiles placed second in the preliminaries with a time of 51.04 and Kolko took seventh in 52.95. It marked Kolko’s first time qualifying for a final, fitting for a redshirt senior competing in his final ACC meet.

Friday’s action will begin at 11 a.m. ET with the decathlon’s 110-meter hurdles. ACC Network Extra will bring the live action on Friday, airing from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Fri. | ACCs | 11 a.m. ET | Live Results | Live Stream
Sat. | ACCs | 11 a.m. ET | Live Results | Live Stream

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

HokieSports Shop