Track & Field

Virginia Tech's Torben Laidig clears 18' 1.25" in the pole vault event at the Doc Hale Elite Meet, Feb. 4, 2017.

The Virginia Tech track and field team boasted 11 top-three finishes in late-January, competing in three different events.

The pole vault and jump/multi-event groups competed in Bloomington, Indiana, in a two-day event at the Gladstein Invitational. On day one, freshman Lisa Gunnarsson placed first in the pole-vault event. Gunnarsson has now placed first in the pole vault in the first two weeks of the season. Freshman Rachel Baxter finished second in this event, and senior Olivia Privitera took fourth.

Senior Mackenzie Muldoon led the multi-events group this weekend with top-eight finishes on both days in the 60 hurdles and the long jump. Freshman Matthew Manilli also performed well this weekend, finishing fourth in the 400 meters on day one and setting a career-best long jump on day two.

Distance runners Laurie Barton and Rachel Pocratsky headlined the distance group this week with their first-place finishes. The group opened up their season in the Keydet Invitational in Lexington, Virginia, on Saturday and posted 11 top-five finishes. Barton won the 800 meters with a time of 2:12.71, and junior Shannon Quinn took second place in the same event. During the mile event, Pocratsky not only won, but set a personal record of 4:44.83. Sophomore Sarah Edwards claimed second place in the mile, making it the second event of the day that the Hokies nabbed first and second place.

At the Clemson Invitational this weekend, the sprints team continued to produce top-eight finishes for the Hokies. On day one, sophomore Keishaun Limehouse and senior Greg Chiles were particularly impressive. Limehouse ran the fifth-fastest time in school history in the 60-meter dash, and freshman Kennedy Dennis posted the sixth-best time in school history. Chiles finished seventh in the 400 meter race.

On day two, Amanda Thomas posted the only top-eight finish on the women’s side by placing eighth in the 600 meters. Chiles was once again impressive on day two, finishing fourth in the 200 meter.

The Hokies are off to a strong start this season, with several wins and several improving performers. There were a total of 36 personal records set across all three teams this weekend, which shows that this team is growing. This team has the potential to do big things in the ACC and beyond this season if it continues to improve like it did this weekend.

The Hokies will travel back to Clemson next weekend to participate in the two-day Bob Pollack Invitational, which will be held on Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27.

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