CLEMSON, S.C. (Hokies Report Day 1) – Three individual championships, five medals, seven finalists, and new records highlighted a successful and promising first day of competition for the Virginia Tech Hokies at the ACC Track and Field Indoor Championships.
Tech claimed three gold medals on day one, with Rachel Baxter winning the women’s pole vault, Antonio Lopez Segura winning the men’s 5000m, and the men’s distance medley relay finishing first as well.
Baxter continued her dominance in the pole vault, winning the ACC Championship in the pole vault for the third consecutive season with her clearance of 14′ 4″ (4.37m). The senior becomes the first woman to ever win the ACC indoor pole vault three consecutive times. On the men’s side Harrison Rice repeated as a silver medalist in the pole vault, earning second place with a vault of 16′ 9.5″ (5.12m).
Tech’s two other gold medal performances came from the distance squads. Winning an individual championship was Antonio Lopez Segura, who crushed the men’s 5000m in 13:49.86. The Spaniard now holds Tech’s third fastest 5K ever and broke the facility and ACC Indoor Championship meet record.
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“It was a great race for Antonio,” Head Distance Coach Eric Johannigmeier said. “To break the ACC meet record and win a title in his first indoor 5k is very impressive. I’m proud of his composure during the race and how badly he wanted it.”
In the men’s distance medley relay, the team of Tyler Leeser, Patrick Forrest, Dave Whitfield, and Ben Nibbelink were crowned champions of the ACC with their time of 9:41.87.
“I was also really pleased with the efforts on the DMR,” Coach Johannigmeier said. “Those guys battled and stuck to their plan and executed to bring home ten more big points for the team.”
Back in the field events, freshman Aidan Clark earned a third-place medal by clearing 6′ 11.75″ (2.13m), and his fellow classman Elijah Bell jumped 6′ 9.5″ (2.07m) to earn sixth place (second team All-ACC) and register valuable points for Tech.
Other significant performances that contributed towards the Hokies’ team scores included Sara Killinen’s second-team All-ACC weight throw of 64′ 10.5′ (19.77m), Jacob Rice’s fourth-place finish in the pole vault at a season-best 16′ 5.5″ (5.02m), and the women’s high jump performances of Rosie Cicmanec, who cleared 5′ 7″ (1.70m), and Laurel Miller, who reached 5′ 5″ (1.65m).
Thursday also saw several preliminary events and the beginning of the men’s heptathlon. Advancing to the finals of their events were Bashir Mosavel-Lo and Siewe Yanga (men’s 800m), Lindsey Butler and Grace Boone (women’s 800m), Caitlan Tate (women’s 200m), and Cole Beck and Jacory Patterson (men’s 200m).
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In the men’s 200m, the Hokies performed as if the preliminary was a final. Cole Beck recorded a lifetime best time of 21.10 seconds, while Jacory Patterson posted a 20.66, the seventh-fastest time in the country and an improvement on his own school record.
In the men’s heptathlon, four Hokies competed across the 60m dash, long jump, shot put, and high jump. The main highlight from day one of the heptathlon was Sean Murphy’s performance in the high jump, where the sophomore cleared an indoor personal best of 6′ 7.5″ (2.02m) to win the section.
As it stands, the Hokies’ men’s team leads on points with 42, while the women’s team is in fourth place with 16.5 points. With two full days of events remaining, much is left to be determined in the conference championship.
Action resumes tomorrow in day two of the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships with the second half of the heptathlon set to begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men’s high jump at 11 a.m. before running events start at 4 p.m. Friday’s events will be broadcast live on ACCNX.