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Records Fall for Virginia Track at Penn State National Invitational

By Matt Newton,


The Cavaliers won six events and broke several records this weekend in State College

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The Virginia track & field teams had a successful weekend at the Penn State National Invitational in State College on Friday and Saturday, winning six events and breaking several program records along the way.

Junior Conor Murphy headlined UVA's performances on Friday as he recorded the third-fastest time in school history in the 800-meters, finishing first in 1:47.71, a time that also ranked third in all of NCAA Division I this season.

Esther Seeland, a native of State College, Pennsylvania, celebrated her homecoming by breaking the UVA indoor record in the 800-meters, placing third in 2:05.38.

Justin Rogers tied the UVA freshman record in the pole vault, recording a mark of 5.01 meters, good for fourth place overall. On the women's side of the pole vault, Caroline Dannenbaum notched a third-place finish.

Another freshman record fell in the men's mile, as James Donnahue finished second overall with a time of 4:01.97, dethroning a Virginia record which had stood since 2005. In the women's mile, Ellie Desmond broke her personal record by a staggering 12 seconds, finishing sixth in 4:43.88.

Jada Seaman claimed victory in the long jump, as her third attempt cleared 6.10 meters to top the rest of the field.

Jacob Lemmon had the third-best weight throw in UVA history at 20.92 meters, good for fifth place, and Peter Djan also notched a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.10 seconds.

Kayla Bonnick added a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter dash, finishing it 7.46 seconds.

Virginia wrapped up the first day of competition on Friday by going 1-2 in the 5000-meters, as Jacob Hunter placed first in 14:05.03 followed by Andrew Jones in second in 14:21.40.

Saturday saw the Hoos deliver their single-most impressive performance of the weekend, as Virginia's men's distance medley relay team shattered a 14-year program record and posted the fastest time in the country this season. Gary Martin, Alex Sherman, Conor Murphy, and Yasin Sado finished in a blazing 9:27.80 to take first place and record a new fastest men's DMR time in the NCAA this season.

On the women's side of the DMR, UVA's team of Esther Seeland, Jada Seaman, Alahna Sabbakhan, and Margot Appleton finished fourth in 11:05.66, the fifth-fastest time in school history and the ninth-fastest in the NCAA this season.

Virginia's runners placed all over the top of the leaderboards in both the men's and women's 3000-meters. Sophie Atkinson and Camryn Menninger placed third and fourth, respectively, while Derek Johnson and Wes Porter both reached the podium, finishing second and third.

Sophomore Carly Tarentino captured her first collegiate victory, recording a mark of 1.70 meters in the high jump to take first place. Emily Alexandru added a third-place finish in the 400-meters.

Liam Bellamy ran the 600-meters in 1:20.06 to place first, while another Cavalier, Myles Plummer, took third in 1:20.93.

Jada Seaman placed third in the 200 meters, finishing in 24.15 seconds, and Ashley Anumba notched third in the shot put at 15.67 meters.

The Virginia track & field teams will be represented at a number of different competitions next weekend, as various Cavaliers will participate in the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet (Blacksburg, VA), the JDL Camel City Invitational (Winston-Salem, NC), and the Bruce Lehane Scarlet & White Invitational (Boston, MA).

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