The Blue Devils continued their success this past weekend at the Hokie Invitational as several athletes broke personal records and took first-place finishes in their events.
The men set the tone for the meet as junior Domenick DeMatteo, senior Andrew Brodeur and freshman Morgan Pearson took first, second and third in the 3000m. DeMatteo’s time of 8:07.59 was the second-fastest time in school history and earned him a sixth-place ranking among NCAA Division I schools. His teammates’ times also earned them top-30 spots in the NCAA rankings.
Sophomore Brian Atkinson raced to a first-place finish in the men’s 5000m race, setting a personal record time of 14:30.77, and the men’s A and B teams in the distance medley relay took first and second place, respectively. Senior Stephen Clark and Brodeur joined teammates Nate McClafferty and Matt Marriott to cross the finish line in first with a time of 9:58.07, while DeMatteo, Pearson and freshmen Greg Dixon and Brian Schoepfer followed less than half a second later to take second. Both teams earned top-five NCAA rankings for their performances.
The distance medley was not the only relay won by the men at the meet, however, as freshmen Henry Farley, McClafferty, Kyle Moran and Schoepfer took first in the 4x800m relay with a time of 7:39.22.
The men’s success continued both on the track, where Farley took sixth in the 800m race with a time of 1:54.85 and junior Dominick Robinson took ninth in the mile, and in the field, where sophomore Justin Amezquita took fifth in the pole vault. Unseeded pole vaulters Curtis Beach, Tony Shirk and Ian Rock took third, fourth and seventh, respectively. Their teammate Michael Krone took tenth in the high jump.
“The biggest thing is we won a lot of events… at a large college invitational,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “Some great things happened.”
On the women’s side, freshman sprinter Elizabeth Kerpon set a school record in the 400m on the second day of the Invitational. Kerpon’s time of 55.46 was good for third place as she led her classmate Lauren Hansson, who crossed the finish in ninth. In the 60m hurdles, sophomore Hannah Goranson took sixth, while her teammate Abbey Farley finished sixth in the 600m.
In the distance medley relay, the women mirrored the men’s success with a first-place finish resulting from the combined efforts of junior Sophia Treakle, and freshmen Abby Farley, Carolyn Baskir and Chloe Maleski. Their teammates in the 4x800m relay, Hansson, Kerpon, freshman Alexis Roper and senior Brittany Whitehead walked off the track with an eighth-place finish.
In the field, Emily Mattoon, Stephanie Skove and Bailey Murphy took first, second and third, respectively, in the unseeded pole vault, while freshman Teddi Maslowski’s jump of 5.59m was good for seventh in the long jump.
Although this meet has just ended, the Blue Devils are already preparing for their upcoming challenges. Some will be competing this weekend at Chapel Hill or in Pennsylvania, while others will continue training for the next two weeks in preparation for the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York. Despite the tough competition that will come later in the season, the Blue Devils have proven, early on, that they are capable of performing at a high level.
“We’re off to a really, really nice start,” Ogilvie said. “No doubt about it.”
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