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Virginia Athletics Enjoy Historic Virginia Challenge Weekend – The Cavalier Daily

Virginia Athletics hosted multiple schools — including nine other ACC programs — from across the country for the Virginia Challenge, with the meet beginning Thursday at Lannigan Field. The Cavaliers cut through the crowded field to pick up a number of wins as the event ended on Saturday.


The first meet of the competition saw Virginia take to the court for the men’s hammer throw. Junior pitcher Jacob Lemmon finished sixth after a season-best throw of 62.59 meters (205’4”), an increase of 0.74 meters from graduate pitcher Evangelos Fradelakis’ previous season record. Fradelakis also competed, throwing 60.81 meters (199’6”) to claim an eighth place finish.

The women’s hammer throw followed, with first-year pitcher Jada Marsh finishing 12th after throwing 55.05 meters (180’7”). The throw was the fifth longest in Virginia women’s hammer throw history.


Day two of the event began in victorious fashion for the Cavaliers, as senior distance runner Peter Morris won the men’s 10,000 meters with a time of 30:07.99. Sophomore distance runner Nick Karayianis followed in ninth place, clocking 30:47.17.

Senior javelin thrower Ethan Dabbs put on a show in the men’s javelin throwing a personal best 80.41 meters (263’9”) to win the event – ​​simultaneously setting a Virginia Challenge meet record and a record facility at Lannigan Field.

Other records were broken in women’s discus, this time by graduate pitcher Ashley Anumba. After a personal best of 56.67 meters (185’11”), Anumba won the event and earned the Virginia Challenge meet record for the competition.

Second-year pitcher Maria Deaviz and senior pitcher Thelma Kristjansdotti also competed in the event, finishing third and fourth with throws of 49.99 meters (164’0″) and 48.74 meters (159’11”) , respectively.

Sophomore sprinter Abby Comella set a personal best in the women’s 400 meters, finishing 14th with a time of 55.49 seconds. Senior sprinter Jordan Willis won the men’s 400 meters after a blistering time of 46.48 seconds.

Virginia placed two runners in the top four in the women’s 100 meters, with junior sprinter Jada Seaman and sophomore sprinter Kayla Bonnick posting second and fourth sprints of 11.43 seconds and 11.51 seconds, respectively.

In the women’s 1,500 meters, first-year distance runner Mia Barnett ran in 4:11.32 to clinch a second-place finish. The time also placed Barnett second all-time in Virginia women’s 1,500 meter history.

First-year distance runner Nathan Mountain competed in his first men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, achieving immediate success with a sixth-place finish and a time of 8:45.42. Mountain now ranks ninth all-time in the event in program history.

The men’s 5,000 meter competition was also successful for the Cavaliers, with sophomore distance runner Wes Porter posting the fastest time in Virginia history. Porter placed fourth in the event, finishing in 13:36.84.

Senior distance runner Rohann Asfaw was fifth in the men’s 10,000 meters, clocking 28:53.84. The time is the second fastest in the program’s history.

The men’s drive saw two other Cavaliers finish in the top five. Junior pitcher Claudio Romero threw 64.79 meters (212’6″), winning the event easily and also breaking a Virginia Challenge meet record in the process. Lemmon finished fourth after throwing 57, 65 meters (189’1”).

To end day two, junior pole vaulter Caroline Dannenbaum and sophomore pole vaulter Gabriella Recce tied for third place in the women’s pole vault event, each jumping 3.91 meters (12’10”) .

In the men’s pole vault, junior pole vaulter Kyle Mosteller cleared a personal best 4.81 meters (15’9.25″) to finish fourth. Junior pole vaulter Derek Pekar jumped 4.66 meters (15’3.5”) for fifth place.


After a successful start to the opening two days of competition, the Virginia Athletics finished similarly, finishing near the top of nearly every event it entered.

Senior high jumper Bex Hawkins earned fifth place in the invitational women’s high jump, jumping 1.76 meters (5’9.25″). In the men’s high jump, graduate jumper Jacob Kelly achieved a personal best of 2.04 meters (6’8.25”) for eighth place.

Seaman put in a tremendous performance in the women’s 200 meter competition, claiming victory with a time of 23.18 seconds. It was a personal best for Seaman, and one that tied the Virginia Challenge meet record and came within a hundredth of a second of a program record. Bonnick also finished seventh, finishing the race in 24.01 seconds.

Willis and sophomore sprinter Jay Pendarvis each set personal bests in the men’s 200 metres. Willis finished seventh with his time of 21.02 seconds, while Pendarvis’ run of 21.22 seconds was good for 13th place.

The women’s shot put found two Cavaliers in the top 10, including Deaviz and Anumba. Deaviz pushed 16.17 meters (53’0.75″) for third place, with Anumba finishing eighth after lifting 15.03 meters (49’3.75″).

Senior jumper Owayne Owens jumped 16.27 meters (53’4.5”) in the men’s triple jump to claim first place. The performance was Owens’ best of the season. First-year jumper Heldi Valikaj placed 10th in the same competition, jumping 14.98 meters (49’1.75”).

To close out the day, Virginia – represented by Willis, Pendarvis, junior sprinter Nigal Davis and freshman sprinter Alex Sherman – placed fourth in the men’s 4x400m relay. The Cavaliers finished the race in 3:11.19, a season best.

Overall, Cavalier athletes set four Virginia Challenge records over the weekend and won a personal best 11 competitions over three days, which could only be considered a success for the program.

Virginia will return to action Thursday for the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa., with competition taking place over three days and ending Saturday.