Behind individual gold-medal performances from Torben Laidig (pole vault), Vincent Ciattei (mile) and Patrick Joseph (800), the Virginia Tech men’s track and field team won the team title at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships held at Notre Dame’s Loftus Sports Center over the weekend. The Tech men’s program – which moved to No. 7 in the recent United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll – won its fourth ACC indoor title and its seventh overall in track and field and cross country, scoring 109 points to edge rival Virginia by 11 points. Ciattei beat Virginia’s Henry Wynne, the reigning NCAA champion, in the mile, while Laidig’s pole vault of 5.55 meters (18 feet, 2.5 inches) was an ACC meet record. Joseph edged teammate Drew Piazza with a school- and ACC meet record time of 1:46.23. Also, the distance medley relay team of Daniel Jaskowak, Brandon Thomas, Kevin Cianfarini and Neil Gourley claimed gold in the event for the second time in school history. On the women’s side, Hanna Green won gold in the 800 in a school-record time of 2:02.28, and Courtney Blanden was a bronze medalist in the 200, guiding the women’s team to an eighth-place finish. Select individuals who qualify now gear up for the NCAA Indoor Championships held March 9-11 in College Station, Texas.
Virginia Tech Men’s Track and Field Team
The Hokies won the team title at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend, scoring 109 points to edge in-state rival Virginia by 11 points. The title marked the Hokies’ fourth indoor crown and their seventh overall in track and field and cross country. Eight Tech athletes earned first-team All-ACC honors and another six earned second-team All-ACC nods. The Hokies now hold both ACC indoor and outdoor crowns following their team victories this weekend and last spring, respectively.
Distance Medley Relay Team
Daniel Jaskowak • Brandon Thomas • Kevin Cianfarini • Neil Gourley
The quartet of Jaskowak, Thomas, Cianfarini and Gourley sat in second place after three legs of the event, but Gourley passed Clemson’s runner on the final lap to lift Tech to first place with a time of 9:31.05. The Hokies wound up beating Florida State by more than two seconds, and the time was a season best.
(Men's Track • Redshirt Junior • Schwabish Hall, Germany)
Laidig powered a Tech pole-vaulting contingent that saw four vaulters finish in the top five of the event at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships. His mark of 5.55 meters (18 feet, 2.5 inches) bested teammate Deakin Volz’s by .35 meters. Laidig captured his second indoor gold medal in the event (2014) and has finished first or second at the league’s indoor meet each year of his career with the exception of the year he took a redshirt.
(Men's Track • Senior • Leesburg, Virginia)
Joseph battled teammate Drew Piazza to the finish line before edging Piazza for the gold medal in the 800-meter race. Joseph’s time of 1:46.23 was a school record and an ACC championship indoor meet record, and he broke Piazza’s school record that was set in the preliminary round just a day earlier. The gold medal marked the third of Joseph’s career. He won the mile during the indoor season in 2015 and won the 800 during the 2015 outdoor season.
(Men's Track • Redshirt Junior • Baltimore, Maryland)
Ciattei came from behind to beat 2016 NCAA indoor champion Henry Wynne and claim the gold medal in the mile in a time of 4:01.04. He edged Wynne by 22-hundredths of a second for his first career win at an ACC meet.
(Women's Track • Senior • Latrobe, Pennsylvania)
Green continued her dominance in the 800, winning the gold medal in the event at the ACC’s indoor meet for the third consecutive time. Green’s time of 2:02.28 marked a career best for her and also was a school- and ACC Championships indoor meet record. She broke her own previous school record of 2:03.18, which she set last year at the league’s indoor meet.
Ty Outlaw’s career night enabled the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team to slip past No. 25 Miami 66-61 at Virginia Tech Carilion Court on Monday night. Outlaw scored a career-high 24 points and set a school record with eight 3-pointers, as the Hokies won their third straight game and fifth in their past six outings. Outlaw also scored 16 points in Tech’s 91-75 win Saturday over Boston College. With the two wins, the Hokies moved to 21-8 overall, 10-7 in the ACC, and clinched a first-round bye in next week’s ACC Tournament. The Hokies also have positioned themselves well for an NCAA Tournament bid following their third victory over a ranked team this season – only the second time in school history that the program has accomplished such a feat. Tech closes the regular season Saturday with a home game against Wake Forest. Tipoff is slated for 4:30 p.m.
The Virginia Tech baseball team traveled to Reno, Nevada over the weekend and took three of four games from the Nevada Wolf Pack to move to 7-1 overall on the season. As a result of the wins, the Hokies found themselves ranked No. 19 in Collegiate Baseball’s national poll. Rahiem Cooper capped the series for the Hokies with a huge game, hitting three home runs, including two grand slams, and driving in nine runs in the Hokies’ 24-10 win. Cooper became the first player in Tech history to hit two grand slams in a game. The Hokie hitters enjoyed the altitude of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, scoring 44 runs in four games. Tech returns to action today with a home game against Radford. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
Playing two games in a day was no problem for the Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse squad, as the Hokies notched easy wins over both Radford and Old Dominion at the Indoor Practice Facility on Saturday. Marissa Davey, Tristan McGinley and Zan Biedenharn each scored three goals and Meagh Graham had four saves in the 20-2 nightcap win over Radford, while McGinley scored five goals and Biedenharn added three in a 19-6 victory over ODU. The Hokies moved to 6-1 overall on the season and return to action on Wednesday with a home game against Elon that starts at 4 p.m.
The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team fought hard to hold off Boston College 82-79 in its final game of the regular season on Sunday night. The Hokies snapped an 11-game losing streak and closed the regular season with a 17-12 record, 4-12 in the ACC. Regan Magarity led the Hokies with a career-high 26 points and 16 rebounds. Kendyl Brooks added a career-high 23 points, shooting 7 of 12 from outside the 3-point arc. Chanette Hicks contributed 14 points, nine assists and three steals, while Samantha Hill tallied 13 points and seven boards. The Hokies will open the ACC Tournament against Clemson on Wednesday at the HTC Center in Conway, South Carolina.
The Virginia Tech softball team won three games at the Pirate Invitational held over the weekend in Greenville, North Carolina, and moved to 8-5 overall on the season. Emma Strouth went 7-for-12 in the tournament, with a homer, six RBIs and five runs. She is now hitting .435 on the season to lead the Hokies. Aysha Richardson collected eight hits overall and threw a no-hitter in the first game – a 13-0 win over Seton Hall. Tech, which also recorded two wins over Coppin State in the tournament, returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Radford for a non-conference game. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
Virginia Tech softball player Caroline Schoenewald has played in 11 of the Hokies’ 13 games this season. The Jamison, Pennsylvania native was willing to answer the following questions to allow fans to get to know her as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What is your dream vacation?
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat?
CS: Steak and Hoagie Factory
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
Q: If you could play another sport, what would it be?
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
CS: It has a great engineering program, and it has a nice college town feel.
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
CS: Colorado, because I think it is a beautiful area. I would love to live on a lake and have access to unbelievable activities, travel spots, etc. Also, the weather is perfect.
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
CS: Jimmy Rollins, because he is my favorite baseball player. I spend all day playing softball, so I would love to see how the professional world compares to my life/workouts.
Q: What are you listening to these days?
CS: A combination of everything – mostly R&B.
Q: What is the talent you’d most like to have?
CS: To be able to sing.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
CS: My Hokie wardrobe and traveling to places I would probably never have gone without sport.
The No. 44 Virginia Tech women’s tennis team finished its non-conference schedule with a 5-2 win over Old Dominion on Saturday. Senior Sansitha Nandakumar and freshman Natalie Novotna claimed a 6-2 win in doubles, defeating ODU’s Borislava Botusharova and Marijana Novakovic at the No. 1 spot. Francesca Fusinato and Katherine Butler defeated ODU’s Adriana Rajkovic and Natalua Malenko in a 7-5 tiebreak decision to tally their fifth win of the season – a team-best mark. The Hokies won four of the singles matches to seal the victory. Novotna and Caroline Daxhelet cruised to easy wins, and then Fusinato recorded the game winner with a three-set victory in the No. 1 spot. The Hokies, now 7-2 overall on the season, will hit the road for a pair of ACC matches this weekend. They take on No. 11 Georgia Tech on March 3 at 3 p.m., followed by a match against in-state rival Virginia, ranked 50th, on March 5 at noon.
The Virginia Tech men’s tennis squad knocked off No. 50 Alabama by a score of 4-2 in the first match of the Blue-Gray Classic held in Montgomery, Alabama over the weekend. The Hokies won the doubles point, and then got singles victories from Alexandre Ribeiro, Mitch Harper and Jason Kros to pull off the upset. Ribeiro’s 6-3, 7-6 (8) win in the No. 2 spot clinched the match for the Hokies. Tech, which dropped its other two matches in the tournament, opens ACC play this Saturday with a home match against Duke and then wraps up non-conference action on Sunday with a home match against JMU.
In a late-night ACC clash on Carilion Court at Cassell Coliseum, Zach LeDay and the Hokies rose above 25th-ranked Miami to claim yet another ACC win. Tech is now 21-8 overall and 10-7 in the ACC heading into Saturday afternoon’s regular-season finale and Senior Day against Wake Forest.