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Hokies open 2016 fall practice

On Aug. 4, the Virginia Tech football team walked onto the Steve Johnson Practice Field and went through its first practice of the fall, as the Hokies began preparations for the upcoming season. Tech practiced for two hours in shorts, jerseys and helmets, with most of its work coming in the indoor practice facility. Two days of rain in the Blacksburg area left the outdoor practice field a little slick, so the team worked mostly inside, though several positions went outside during certain periods. “My initial reaction was certainly better than our first practice in the spring,” Tech head coach Justin Fuente said following the first practice. “I liked the way our guys flew around. They seem to have a decent retention level. Obviously, it is hard to tell anything in just helmets. You can tell that there are some guys out there that have spent some of their own free time trying to figure out what’s going on. It showed a little bit today. In a good way.” Tech was slated to practice six straight days before an off day on Wednesday. The Hokies then will practice three straight days before being off Sunday for Fan Day at Lane Stadium.

Class of 1970 celebrates 50th anniversary of first practice

A group of nine former football players from the Class of 1970, along with two former graduate assistants, returned to campus to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their very first college football practice. The former players included Joe Tucker, Paul Ripley, Preston Blackburn, Bob Slaughter, Hank Immel, Pete Dawyot, Dave Binko, Gerald Boykin and Larry Creekmore, and the former graduate assistants were Mike Saunders and John Shipley. The group arrived on Thursday and enjoyed a dinner Thursday evening. On Friday, they took a tour of the facilities. Then on Friday evening, all but Creekmore attended football practice, where the group got to meet new head coach Justin Fuente afterward. The former players then returned to their respective homes Saturday. To read more about their day, please click here.

Tech in the 2016 Rio Olympics

The 2016 Summer Olympics began Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and five current/former Virginia Tech athletes are competing, bringing the total number of Virginia Tech athletes to compete in the Olympics to 13. The contingent includes Norbert Szabo, a current Tech men’s swimmer who is competing for Hungary, and former Tech athletes Kristi Castlin, Darrell Wesh, Marcel Lomnicky and Carmen Farmer. Castlin and Farmer are competing for the United States in track and field and rugby, respectively, while Wesh is competing in track and field for Haiti and Lomnicky is competing in track and field for Slovakia.
The group will be competing on the following days:

Athlete Event Day
Castlin 100 hurdles August 16
Wesh 100 August 13
Lomnicky Hammer throw August 17
Szabo 800 relay August 9
Farmer Rugby Sevens Already completed

New season, same goals for Tech women’s soccer program

The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team starts its season with an exhibition game today against Miami University at Thompson Field in preparation for its season opener Aug. 19 against LSU at a tournament in Charleston, South Carolina. Tech returns a nice blend of experience and youth from a team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament a year ago. The Hokies go into the season with five seniors, led by scoring machine Murielle Tiernan, who already holds the school record for career goals (39) and career points (92). She scored a team-best 14 goals from her forward position last fall on her way to being the school’s second All-American (Jazmine Reeves, 2013). Candace Cephers, Bria Dixon, Sydney Curtis and Kallie Peurifoy round out the senior class. Cephers, a midfielder, scored six goals last season, while Peurifoy started all 21 games and had five assists from her forward spot. Curtis, a defender, also started all 21 games, while Dixon, a midfielder, played in 18 games and recorded three assists. Those five, along with numerous talented underclassmen, are seeking to lead Tech to a ninth straight NCAA appearance. “We’re trying to put ourselves in position to make the ACC tournament and another NCAA tournament,” Tech head coach Charles “Chugger” Adair said. “We want to put a run together and see how far we can go. That’s our goal.”

Six participate in summer internships with Virginia Tech Athletics Department

Six Hokie student-athletes went behind the scenes of the Virginia Tech Department of Athletics this summer as participants in the Hokie L.E.A.D. Internship program. Established through the Office of Student-Athlete Development, this internship program is an initiative that began in 2015 and provides Virginia Tech student-athletes with unpaid internship opportunities within the Department of Athletics. L.E.A.D. – which stands for Learn, Experience, Achieve and Develop – provides real-world experiences for student-athletes interested in careers in intercollegiate athletics. The 10-week program took place over the summer to accomodate the demands of student-athletes’ academic and athletics schedules during the regular academic year. Student-athletes also were provided with networking and mentorship opportunities in addition to developing skills necessary to become highly marketable candidates for full-time, part-time or internship positions upon graduation. The participants included the following:

Jordyn Brock - Marketing
R-Sophomore • Germantown, Maryland • Public Relations • Women's Soccer

Blayne Fink - Hokie Vision
R-Sophomore • Chesterfield, Virginia • Multimedia Journalism • Women's Soccer

Adriana Grabski - Student-Athlete Development
Sophomore • Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania • Communication • Women's Swimming

Maggie Gruber - Hokie Club
Junior • Gibsonia, Pennsylvania • Business Information Technology • Women's Swimming

Katie Kennedy - Ticket Office
Sophomore • Springfield, Virginia • Public Relations • Women's Cross Country

Sansitha Nandakumar - Hokie Vision
Junior • Coimbatore, India • Economics • Women's Tennis

Getting ready for the new year!

Lane Stadium may be a lonely place for punter Mitchell Ludwig and his specialist teammates to practice right now, but the stadium will be will be rocking when Hokie Nation is jumping to Enter Sandman and welcoming Coach Justin Fuente and the Hokies on to Worsham Field for the season opener against Liberty on September 3.