May 10, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE - The Virginia men's and women's track and field teams began competition Friday at the Virginia Challenge, their final home meet of the season. The meet, which features top collegiate and professional athletes, runs through Saturday at Lannigan Field.
"This is a great meet to showcase our facility at Lannigan Field," said head coach Bryan Fetzer. "I was happy that we had a lot of great performances today, especially as we are coming off of finals last week. Overall I was very excited about tonight and looking forward to having a packed house tomorrow for a lot of exciting events."
The women's field events highlighted the day for the Cavaliers as Moira Cronin and Abbey Karin had strong performances. Cronin won the women's high jump competition by clearing a PR of 6-0. She becomes the fourth woman in school history to join the six-foot club and is the 20th woman nationally to clear six feet this year.
"Moira is looking very consistent in practice," said Fetzer. "She is now being able to translate what she does in practice into a meet situation. It is great to see her do that and have the confidence to compete at that level. Joining the six-foot club is a special thing for a female high jumper and is something she can be proud of. The good thing is that she cleared six feet with room to spare, so I know she can go even higher."
Karin won the women's javelin with a throw of 172-7, besting her previous PR by 13 feet. The throw ranks among the top 10 this year nationally.
"Abbey came in after a few weeks off after ACC's really itching to compete," said assistant coach Mario Wilson. "She went out there and proved her mettle. Her first throw topped the PR she set at ACC's by a foot. Her second throw would have been her PR last year. Then on her third throw, she really put everything together and bested her first throw by another 12 feet. That is really impressive."
On the track, Cavaliers finished first and second in the women's 200m invite. Jordan Lavender ran 23.96, just off her time in the ACC Championships. Peyton Chaney ran a PR of 24.02 to enter the Virginia all-time top-10 list.
Brandon Burton ran a PR of 52.34 in the men's 400m hurdles. That performance ranks 10th in school history in the event.
UVa volunteer assistant coach Ehsan Haddadi won the men's discus competition. The 2012 Olympic silver medalist shattered the Lannigan Field record with a throw of 210-0 feet. Cavalier assistant coach Martin Maric finished second with a throw of 203-6 feet.
The meet concludes on Saturday. The schedule begins at 2 p.m. with the continuation of the multi events and the start of that day's field events. Saturday's track events start at 3:30 p.m. with the sprints and the distance events begin at 6:15 p.m. Admission is free
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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