ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships: Final Day

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Steve Phillips brings you updates throughout the 2016 #ACCOTF Championships from Tallahassee, Florida ...

Hokies, Seminoles nail down 2016 titles

The Virginia Tech men and Florida State women reign as 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Champions.

Both teams entered Sunday’s finals competition with substantial leads, and neither was seriously threatened as they coasted through the final six field events and 20 running events held at FSU’s Mike Long Stadium.

The ACC outdoor championship is the second for the Virginia Tech men, who first won in 2012 under head coach Dave Cianelli. FSU claimed its fourth outdoor women’s title and third under current head coach Bob Braman. The Seminoles have won the ACC women’s outdoor championship two of the last three years.

With the Syracuse men and Miami women placing first at the ACC Indoor Championships earlier this year, four different programs own conference track and field titles in 2016.
The Most Valuable Track and Field Most Valuable Performers were determined by total individual points scored.

Clemson’s Tevin Hester, who placed first in both the 100 and 200 meters for the second consecutive year and broke his own ACC Championship record in the latter event, was the men’s track MVP. The women’s track MVP was also a repeat from 2015 as Miami junior Shakima Wimbley earned 25 points with gold medals in the 200 and 400 while running on a pair of winning relay teams.

Virginia junior Filip Mihaljevic earned men’s field MVP honors after scoring 20 points with gold medals in the shot put and discus. Louisville’s Emmonnie Henderson was the women’s field MVP for the second consecutive year after winning the shot put on Saturday and taking the silver medal in the discus on Sunday (18 total points).

The Virginia Tech men set the tone during Friday’s opening session, sweeping the top seven places in the pole vault and getting a 10,000-meter gold medal run from Thomas Curtin en route to an eye-opening 57 first-day points. The Hokies finished with a team total of 129 points, 36 ahead of second-place NC State (93).

“I think that really made a big difference,” Cianelli said. “Track and field is like a lot of other sports. You get a little momentum, and it just seems to roll throughout the team. I think the other guys just fed off the success of that first day. It was just one of those things where it spread throughout the team event-by-event, where we pretty much hit or expectations or exceeded them.”

Virginia placed third in the men’s scoring with 80 points, followed by Florida State and North Carolina with 72 apiece. Louisville held sixth place with 61.5, followed by Clemson 61, Miami 58, Syracuse 48, Pitt 43, Notre Dame 32, Wake Forest 27, Duke 26.5 and Georgia Tech 15.

The Florida State women finished with 106.5 team points. Miami placed second with 88, while defending champion Clemson finished third with 85.

“I’m really proud of our women,” Braman said. “They are a young team, and they didn’t know any better. They knew they weren’t a lot of expectations. They didn’t take it that seriously, and they did a great job. But we have some good, young kids. I think we can be a top-five team next year – and maybe a top 10 team this year (in the upcoming NCAAs).”

Virginia held fourth place in the women’s team scoring with 77 points, followed by Notre Dame with 69 and Duke with 66. NC State placed seventh with 56, followed by Louisville 47, Virginia Tech 45.1, North Carolina 42.4, Syracuse 33, Wake Forest 30, Pitt 29, Boston College 26 and Georgia Tech 19.

A glance at Sunday’s final events:

MEN’S 4x400 (8:55 p.m.)
The final event of the night featured a thrilling finish as North Carolina anchor Ceo Ways passed Clemson’s Jorrel Bellafonte on the back stretch and then held off Bellafonte and Pitt’s hard-charging Desmond Palmer to secure the relay win for the Tar Heels. The UNC foursome of Javonte Lipsey, Kenny Selmon, Cory Nicholls and Ways posted a winning time of 3:06.03. Pitt followed and 3:06.23, and Clemson was third at 3:07.19.

WOMEN’S 4x400 (8:33 p.m.)
Having already set a school record in the 4x100, the Hurricanes topped themselves with a meet-record run of 3:30.61 in the 4x400 to close this year’s women’s competition. Destiny Washington, Aiyanna Stiverne, Brittny Ellis and Shakima Wimbley combined to break the previous mark of 3:31.17 set by Notre Dame here last season. Notre Dame placed second on Sunday night at 3:31.86, and Clemson took the bronze medal at 3:35.16.

MEN’S 5000 (8:21 p.m.)
In a race featuring many of the ACC’s premier distance runners, Thomas Curtin put the exclamation point on Virginia Tech’s team championship. In similar fashion to his winning effort in the 10,000 meters on Friday night, Curtin pulled away on the closing lap to successfully defend his title take the gold medal with a time of 13.52.33. NC State’s Luis Vargas checked in at 13:53.33, while Louisville’s Edwin Kibichiy took the bronze medal at 13:54.73 – just ahead of the 13:54.76 registered by Duke’s Shaun Thompson.

WOMEN’S 5000 (8:02 p.m.)
Virginia junior Cleo Boyd doubled her pleasure in this year’s distance events, taking the gold medal in the 5,000 with a winning time of 16:31.65. Boyd, who also claimed the 10,000 meters on Friday night, held off NC State’s Megan Moye (16:33.10) and 2015 winner Margo Malone of Syracuse (16:34.14) down the stretch to take home her second gold medal of this year’s competition.

MEN’S 200 (7:31 p.m.)
Clemson’s Tevin Hester broke his own ACC Championship meet record in the 200, racing to a winning time of 20.13 and securing gold medals in both the men’s 100 and 200 for the second straight year. Hester became the first runner to sweep the ACC men’s short sprints in back-to-back years since NC State’s Danny Peebles in 1987-88. NC State’s Quashawn Cunningham took the silver medal on Sunday evening with a time of 20.67, and North Carolina’s Ceo Ways was third at 20.79.

WOMEN’S 200 (7:19 p.m.)
Miami junior All-American Shakima Wimbley has yet to lose a 200-meter dash in the ACC Outdoor Championship. Wimbley’s blazing time of 22.56 on Sunday evening was good for third straight title in the event and gives her five gold career individual medals overall in ACC Outdoor competition. Clemson sophomore Deja Parrish took second place at 23.08, and Miami’s Aiyanna Stiverne took the gold bronze medal at 23.22.

WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP (7:15 p.m.)
Georgia Tech freshman Bria Matthews followed up on her strong Indoor Championship showing with a gold medal on Sunday. Matthews posted a winning mark of 13.73 meters (45-0.5). Clemson took the silver and bronze medals, with junior Anaterasia Terrell checking in at 13.27 meters (43-6.5), and classmate Iana Amsterdam following at 13.19m (43-3.25). 

MEN’S 400 HURDLES (7:11 p.m.)
For the second year in a row, Pitt junior Desmond Palmer slipped past several North Carolina competitors at the finish to claim the men’s 400 hurdles. Palmer lead the field with a time of 49.66. He edged the Tar Heels’ Kenny Selmon (50.05) and Javonte Lipsey (50.91). 

WOMEN’S 400 HURDLES (6:57 p.m.)
Notre Dame senior Kaila Barber made it a sweep of this year’s hurdle events, taking the gold medal in 56.81. Barber placed ahead of Virginia’s Aisha Naibe-Way (57.84) and Heather Smith (58.17). Barber’s showing came less than two hours after her gold medal showing in the 100 women’s hurdles.

MEN’S 800 (6:50 p.m,)
Yet another tight finish saw Wake Forest freshman Robert Heppenstall take the gold medal with a time of 1:49.27. The win gave Heppenstall a sweep of this season’s 800 events after he also took the ACC Indoor title at Boston in late February. Virginia Tech junior Patrick Joseph placed second on Sunday at 1:49.36, and Florida State’s Otneil Teixeira the bronze at 1:49.36.

WOMEN’S 800 (6:41 p.m,)
Virginia Tech’s Hanna Green edged Duke’s Anima Banks at the wire in an event that featured the fourth- and fifth-best 800 times in the nation this season. Green finished with a winning time of 2:02.45, while Banks checked in at 2:02.50. Clemson freshman Ersula Farrow took the bronze medal at 2:04.13.

MEN’S DISCUS (6:35 p.m.)
Virginia junior Filip Mihaljevic now owns five ACC Championship gold medals following his winning throw of 62.43 meters (204-10) in Sunday’s competition. Mihaljevic led the discus competition for the third consecutive year and has also taken the gold medal in the last two ACC shot put events. Sunday’s mark ranks third in the nation this season. Virginia Tech sophomore Marek Barta took second place with a throw of 59.68 meters, and Virginia junior Jordan Young was third at 57.73.

MEN’S 100 (6:28 p.m.)
Clemson’s Tevin Hester took the gold medal for the second consecutive season as his 10.04 (with a wind measured at 2.4) led the field. Florida State’s Edward Clarke took the silver medal at 10.23, and NC State’s Quashawn Cunningham the bronze at 10.23.

WOMEN’S 100 (6:18 p.m.)
Florida State picked up some big points to pad its overall team lead as freshman Shauna Helps took the gold medal with a time of 11.68 in becoming the first Seminole to win the ACC Championship 100 since Marecia Pemberton in 2010. Helps edged Syracuse senior Shaina Harrison (11.72) and Louisville freshman Raven Grant (11.73).

MEN’S 400 (6:10 p.m.)
North Carolina’s Ceo Ways led the way with a time of 45.86, a time that ranks 17th nationally and earned the first gold medal by a UNC runner in the event since 2012. Pitt’s Chris Tate took the silver medal at 45.99, and 2015 champion Michael Cheeks of Clemson took the bronze at 46.19.

WOMEN’S 400 (6:02 p.m.)
Miami’s Shakima Wimbley continued to find Mike Long Track to her liking. The Hurricane junior outraced Notre Dame’s Margaret Bamgbose down the stretch to take the gold medal with a time of 50.90 – just a shade off the ACC and track record 50.84 she set last season. Bamgbose took the silver medal at 51.0, and Miami’s Aiyana Stiverne clocked in a 52.08 to take the bronze medal.

MEN’S 110 HURDLES (5:48 p.m.)
Syracuse junior Freddie Crittenden III out-hurdled defending champion Desmond Palmer of Pitt to take the 2016 gold medal. Crittenden placed first with a time of 13.58, while Palmer finished second at 13.83. Georgia Tech’s Spencer Allen took the bronze medal at 13.95.

WOMEN’S 100 HURDLES (5:40 p.m.)
In a race that could not have been much closer, Notre Dame’s Kaila Barber edged NC State’s Alexis Perry to claim the women’s 100 hurdles. Barber clocked in at 12.92, just edging Perry’s 12.93 effort. Miami’s Ebony Morrison took the bronze medal at 13.03. The times by Barber and Perry were both season their bests as they gear up for the NCAA Regionals.

MEN’S 1500 (5:32 p.m.)
Virginia’s Henry Wynne led wire-to-wire in posting a gold medal time of 3:42.16. Wynne, the 2016 NCAA indoor mile champion, placed ahead of Virginia Tech’s Neil Gourley (3:42.97) and Syracuse’s Adam Palamar (3:43.27). All three medal winners are juniors.

WOMEN’S 1500 (5:24 p.m.)
Three-time ACC Women’s Track Performer of the Week Megan Moye of NC State opened up a sizeable lead down the stretch and took the gold medal with an ACC Championship and facility record of 4:11.91. Moye broke the previous mark of 4:13.05 set by North Carolina’s Shalane Flanagan in 2003. Duke senior Anima Banks took the silver medal with a time of 4:14.67, and North Carolina’s Caroline Alcorta grabbed the bronze at 4:18.57.

MEN’S 4x100 RELAY (5:14 p.m.)
NC State broke Florida State’s seven-year hold on this event as Nyheim Hines, Jonathan Addison, Shannon Patterson and Quashawn Cunningham matched their season-best time of 39.42 in taking the gold. FSU placed a close second at 39.72, and Clemson held third place at 40.21.

WOMEN’S 4x100 RELAY (5:04 p.m.)
The Miami foursome of Shakima Wimbley, Carolyn Brown, Aiyanna Stiverne and Ebony Morrison raced to the gold medal with a school-record time of 43.62. Clemson placed second at 44.12, while Notre Dame took third place at 44.43.

MEN’S TRIPLE JUMP (3:40 p.m.)
Louisville junior Ben Williams staged a successful defense of his ACC triple jump championship with an impressive winning leap of 16.41 meters (53-10.25). Williams, the reigning ACC Men’s Field Performer of the Week, raised his national ranking from ninth to fourth with Sunday’s performance. Florida State freshman Armani Wallace took the silver medal at 16.12 meters, and Louisville also claimed the bronze medal as junior Damar Robinson – who claimed the ACC championship in the high jump on Saturday – placed third at 15.86.

The efforts by Williams and Robinson helped the Cardinals move up to second place in the overall men’s team scoring. Virginia Tech continues to lead with 86 points, followed by Louisville with 53.56 and Virginia with 49.

WOMEN’S DISCUS (3:23 p.m.)
After a year’s absence due to injury, Florida State junior Kellion Knibb reclaimed the ACC’s women’s discus gold medal in convincing fashion. Knibb registered an ACC Championship and Mike Long Track record distance of 60.62 meters (198-11) on her first throw in second flight competition and went on to claim her third first-place event finish. Knibb also took gold medals in 2013 and 2014. Sunday’s showing continues a banner year for the Seminole thrower, who earned Most Outstanding College Performer honors at last month’s Penn Relays. Knibb, who currently ranks fifth nationally, also hold the overall ACC women’s discus record of 61.34 meters (201-3), which she set during the 2014 NCAA East Regional.

Louisville junior Emmonnie Henderson, who captured the gold medal last season, took the silver medal at 54.04 meters (177-3). Wake Forest’s Casidy Howard claimed the bronze at 47.82 (156-11).

WOMEN’S HIGH JUMP (3:13 p.m.)
Senior Mimi Land became the first Clemson student-athlete to strike gold at this year’s ACC Championship with her winning leap of 1.78 meters (5-10). Land, who entered the meet ranked second among ACC competitors, owns a season-best mark of 1.80 meters. Duke senior Madeline Morrow and North Carolina’s Nicole Greene both finished at 1.75m (5-8.75), with Morrow taking the silver medal on jump progressions.

MEN’S JAVELIN (11:41 a.m.)
Virginia Tech served early notice that it is serious about holding onto its lead in the men’s team scoring. Freshman Matija Muhar delivered a throw of 75.60 meters (248-0) on his first attempt, and the effort easily held up for another Hokies gold medal. Muhar’s effort ranked just short of the ACC Championship record 75.92m (249-1) set by Virginia Tech’s Matthias Treff in 2011. 

For good measure, the Hokies also grabbed this year’s silver medal  on Matija’s older brother Jaka Muhar’s throw of 68.47m (224-7). North Carolina’s Houston Summers took the bronze at 67.68m (222-0). 

OFF AND RUNNING … AND THROWING (11 a.m.)
The third and final day of the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Track and Field Championships got under way late this morning amidst mostly sunny skies and 75-degree temperatures at Mike Long Track. The Virginia Tech men entered the day with a 21-point hold on first place, while host FSU is up 22 points on the women’s side. Both the Virginia men and women currently hold second place.

Action began with the men’s javelin throw at 11 a.m. Finals are set in six total men’s and women’s field events, and 20 running event finals are on the docket. The competition concludes with the running of the women’s 4x400 relay at 8:30 p.m., followed by the men’s 4x400 at 8:40.

ESPN3 again plans live coverage Sunday, beginning at 6 p.m., with Tom Block on play-by-play and former Miami standout and Olympic medalist Lauryn Williams providing analysis. The broadcast will be steamed lived on theACC.com at http://es.pn/1q962iG.

Live results may be accessed throughout the Championship at http://theacc.co/otfliveresults.