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Rowbury wins 1,500 at ACCs

Shannon Rowbury got the best of rival Erin Donohue from North Carolina once again as the Blue Devil broke her own school record in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:14.81 on her way to a first place finish at the ACC Championships Saturday.

Rowbury sat behind Donohue for the first 1,000 meters of the race and then made her uncontested move for the win. Rowbury’s time is the second-fastest in the country, only slower than NCAA Indoor Champion Anne Shadle, who edged out Rowbury in their meeting earlier this spring.

“She simply toyed with what the best of the ACC had to offer,” head coach Norm Ogilvie said. “She looked like she was jogging when Donohue was struggling.”

Both the men’s and women’s track teams traveled to Tallahassee, Fla., for the ACC Championships this weekend. Rowbury’s first-place finish helped the women’s team to an eighth-place finish overall while the men’s team finished 10th.

Junior Liz Wort smashed her own school record by 30 seconds in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, a run with water jumps and hurdles, finishing in first with a time of 10:10.15. Wort, who ran in third for the majority of the race, moved into the lead with two laps to go. On the last water jump Wort fell but was able to recover and beat the closest competitor by five seconds.

“She kind of got the celebratory drink a little too early,” Ogilvie said. “She had the fifth-best time in the country, and is going to be a national contender.”

Graduate student Lauren Matic nearly captured first in the 800-meter run but was edged by Donohue at the finish line. Matic suffered a “blow to the head” when leaving the hotel, Ogilvie said, but she wanted to race since it was the last ACC meet of her career. The Blue Devil took the lead in the race with 250 meters to go, but Donohue won on her lean at the finish line. Matic’s time of 2:09.07 was one-hundredth of a second shy of the winning mark.

Debra Vento’s jump of 6-1.5 feet in the high jump was her personal best by an inch and a half, but the Blue Devil settled for third place, as competitors posted record jumps. Vento cleared 6-1.5 on her third and final trial, but Georgia Tech’s Chaunte Howard’s leap at 6-4.5 set a new meet record.

On the men’s side, Nick Schneider placed third in the 5,000 with a time of 14:18.81 and placed sixth in the 1,500-meter run. In the preliminary race of the 1,500, Schneider was pushed from behind leading to a fall that left the Blue Devil badly scraped and out of the finals. Because of the foul, Schneider was allowed to compete in the final, but he ran conservatively because of the injury.

“He landed really hard and scraped up his hip and back, but he got back up and finished the race,” Ogilvie said.

Freshman Jade Ellis led the men’s team in scoring by placing third in the triple jump with a leap of 50-8 feet and fifth in the long jump with a mark of 23-11.5. Ellis’ hit his sixth and final long jump to place as a scorer. Ellis’s first triple jump Saturday was his best, putting him in second place, but he slipped to third by the end of the competition.

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