Virginia Tech women’s golfer Elizabeth Bose and football standout Eric Gallo earned the highest honor handed out by the Virginia Tech Athletics Department, as both were announced winners of the 2016 Skelton Award for Academic Excellence in Athletics at the Athletics Director’s Honors Breakfast held Sunday morning at the Inn at Virginia Tech. The Skelton Award, named after the late Dr. Bill and Peggy Skelton, goes each year to a rising junior, senior or fifth-year male and female student-athlete who has participated in intercollegiate athletics for at least two seasons at Tech and who holds an overall grade-point average of 3.40 or better. Each recipient receives a scholarship of $5,000. Bose, a rising junior from Norfolk, Virginia, led the Tech women’s golf team this past season, recording five top-25 finishes, and is pursuing a degree in biochemistry. Gallo, a rising senior from Richboro, Pennsylvania, has been a two-year starter for the Hokies as a center on the offensive line and will graduate in 2018 with a degree in finance. For more on the AD’s Honors Breakfast, please read the following.
Virginia Tech’s 2017 spring practice came to an end this past Saturday, as the Hokies participated in the annual Maroon-Orange Spring Game at Lane Stadium. Highlights included a 29-yard touchdown pass from Hendon Hooker to Dalton Keene against the second-team defense, two Joey Slye field goals (including a 58-yarder), a 1-yard touchdown run by D.J. Reid and an interception by Brandon Facyson. Hooker completed 10 of 11 for 113 yards, though nearly all of that came against the second-team defense. Caleb Farley also made several big plays, hauling in a 36-yard reception and running 16 yards on a reverse. The Hokies, who played the spring game despite 20 players being out with injuries (none serious), open the 2017 season against West Virginia on Sept. 3 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.
Courtney Blanden won the 200- and 400-meter runs at the War Eagle Classic held over the weekend in Auburn, Alabama, setting the school record in the 200 in the process. She finished first in the 200 with a time of 23.01 seconds. In addition, Greg Chiles won the 400-meter hurdles at the War Eagle Classic in a time of 50.83 seconds, breaking a school mark (51.28) that had been in place for 18 years. Tech’s distance runners competed at the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Drew Piazza set a school record in the 800, coming in fourth with a time of 1:46.02. He bested teammate Patrick Joseph’s previous record of 1:47.29. On the women’s side, Hanna Green won the 800 at the Virginia Challenge with a time of 2:02.17. The track teams split up again this coming weekend, with athletes competing at the Penn Relays, the Longhorn Invitational and the Virginia Grand Prix.
(Women's Track and Field • Junior • Weddington, North Carolina)
Blanden enjoyed the best weekend of her career this past weekend, as she broke the school record while winning the 200-meter run at the War Eagle Classic held in Auburn, Alabama. Her time of 23.01 seconds snapped the previous mark of 23.17 set by Britni Spruill a decade ago, and her time in the 200 now ranks as the second-best in the ACC this season. In addition, Blanden recorded a career-best in the 400, winning in a time of 53.48 seconds – a time that stands as the eighth-best in the ACC this season.
The No. 19 Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse team will be the No. 7 seed at the upcoming ACC Championships, which start Thursday at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond. The Hokies will take on No. 2 seed Syracuse – a team that beat the Hokies in overtime just a couple of weeks ago. Tech enters the tournament with an 11-7 record in head coach John Sung’s first season, but the Hokies’ record could be much better. Their 6-5 loss to Virginia in the regular-season finale Saturday marked the fourth one-goal loss of the season for Tech. Emma Harden and Tristan McGinley led the Hokies with two goals each in that game. Tech takes on the Orange at the ACC tournament at 5 p.m., on Thursday evening.
The Virginia Tech men’s and women’s tennis teams concluded the regular season this past weekend, as the men lost 4-2 to Florida State in Tallahassee, Florida, and the women lost 4-3 to the Seminoles in Blacksburg on Senior Day. Both squads now travel to Rome, Georgia for the ACC Championships. The men, led by Mitch Harper’s 13-8 record while playing in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, enter the tournament with a 10-12 mark and will face NC State at 10 a.m., on Thursday. Freshman Natalie Novotna leads the women with a 17-5 record while playing in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. The Tech women enter the competition with an 11-12 mark and will face Boston College at 10 a.m., on Wednesday.
Virginia Tech baseball player Matt Dauby is a redshirt senior from Carmel, Indiana and has played in more than 150 games in his career as a Hokie. He answered the following questions so fans could get to know him as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What is your dream vacation?
MD: Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat?
MD: Greens in Blacksburg.
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
MD: Denver, Colorado.
Q: If you could play another sport, what would it be?
MD: Basketball. Being from Indiana, I am a huge basketball fan, and I grew up playing the sport.
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
MD: It had all the factors that were important to me. It is great academically, has great athletics, is a great college town, the campus is beautiful and the overall community and life here is second to none.
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
MD: Huntington Beach, California.
Q: What type of music are you listening to these days?
MD: Punk rock and rap. That’s not a very common combination, but I love both.
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
MD: The Rock [Dwayne Johnson, an American actor]. He is so successful and does so many cool things through his occupation. He is also very jacked.
Q: What is the talent you’d most like to have?
MD: To be able to sing. I would love to leave people speechless after singing a song for them and performing in front of thousands.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
MD: I love having so many close teammates, and going through every day with them. Also, I love the opportunities that athletics has given me to do things in the Blacksburg community and make an impact.
The Virginia Tech Athletics Department held its second annual Celebration of Women’s Sports luncheon this past Friday, with former Tech athletes and 2016 Olympians Kristi Castlin (track and field) and Carmen Farmer (rugby) serving as the special guests for the event. The event sold out, and proceeds from ticket sales, the online auction and in-event donations resulted in approximately $50,000 in revenue – all of which will be used to benefit the women’s sports programs at Tech and to expand nutritional opportunities for all Virginia Tech student-athletes.