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Steve Phillips brings you updates throughout the 2015 #ACCITF Championships from Blacksburg, Va.
ACC CHAMPIONS: VIRGINIA TECH MEN, CLEMSON WOMEN
The host Virginia Tech men and Clemson women claimed team titles as the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships concluded Saturday at Rector Field House.
Both winning teams clinched their championships before the 4x400 relays closed out Saturday’s scoring. The Virginia Tech men captured their third ACC Championship, all of which have come since 2011 under veteran head coach Dave Cianelli.
The Clemson women prevailed for the fifth time in the six years, the sixth time overall, and for the first time under second-year head coach Mark Elliott.
Virginia Tech’s men led with 101 points, while defending champion Florida State held second at 86.5 and Virginia third place with 71 points. North Carolina had 67 points, followed by Clemson 63, Syracuse 41, Duke 39, Miami 37,5, Louisville 29, Pitt 29, NC State 29, Notre Dame 26, Wake Forest 24 and Georgia Tech 20.
“Going in, we felt like we had a shot, but we knew we would need to have a perfect meet, or pretty close to it,” the Hokies’ Cianelli said. “There are always surprises in a meet like this, and with additional teams (from past years), the points are tougher to come by. It’s a pretty sweet thing to win an ACC Championship, but especially now, since I think the conference has gotten better. “
Clemson sprinter Tevin Hester and Syracuse distance runner Martin Hehir shared men’s track MVP, while NC State’s Jonathan Addison and Virginia thrower Jordan Young shared Men’s Field MVP honors after each captured a gold and silver medal in this year’s event.
The Clemson women closed with 102 team points, followed by defending champion Florida State at 81. Notre Dame held third place with 74 points, followed by North Carolina 62.5, Duke 59.5, NC State 55.5, Miami 48, Virginia Tech 44.5, Virginia 35.5, Syracuse 35, Wake Forest 19.5, Louisville 16, Boston College 13, Georgia Tech 10 and Pitt 8.
After claiming four straight ACC women’s indoor championships from 2010 through 2013, the Tigers faced a rebuilding situation last year and slipped to eighth place in the conference meet – which ironically was held at Clemson – while Florida State claimed the team title. Elliott said it was a satisfying feeling guiding the Tigers back to the top.
“We showed up today with a full team, as opposed to last year,” Elliott said. “As long as they continued to get better each meet, as we have all year, I felt like we had a great shot.”
Clemson’s Mimi Land, who compiled 19 points in her team’s winning effort, was named the Women’s Field MVP. Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel, who claimed gold medals in both the 5,000- and 3,000-meter distance runs, earned Women’s Track MVP honors.
“Mimi Land is one of those ‘gamers,’ “Elliott said. “A lot of people use that analogy all the time, but I can honestly say that Mimi is a true gamer that you can always depend on, and she is a big reason we won today.”
Both orders of finish mirrored the current USTFCCA Top 25 computer rankings. Virginia Tech entered the ACC Championship as the ACC’s highest ranked men’s team at No. 8 nationally, while Florida State was next at 19th. On the women’s side, Clemson was highest ranked among league teams at No. 15, followed by Florida State at No. 22 and Notre Dame at No. 24.
Next up for ACC teams and student-athletes are the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which are scheduled March 13-14 at the Randal Tyson Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
MEN’S 4x400 RELAY
Fans at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House were treated to a highly entertaining closing race, as the Clemson men’s 4x400 relay team clipped North Carolina by 18-hundreths of a second.
The Tiger squad, consisting of Cordell Lamb, Michael Cheeks, Jorel Belafonte and Jeffrey Green, took the gold with a time of 3:10. The Tar Heels followed at 3:10.18, and Notre Dame was third at 3:11.06.
Clemson claimed the men’s 4x400 for the 12th time in meet history.
Even with the team title already assured, the Clemson women added an exclamation point in the final event of the 2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship.
The foursome of Olivia James, Nia Fluker, Samantha Elliott and Natoya Goule posted a gold medal time of 3:32.87 that crushed the previous meet record – set by Clemson in 2010 – by nearly three seconds. The time was nearly two seconds ahead of the previous best run at Rector Field House. Duke placed second at 3:43 even.
Clemson the ACC Championship with 102 team points, 21 ahead of second-place Florida State.
MEN’S SHOT PUT
The Virginia men closed out a solid effort in the throws at the 2015 ACC Championship, as redshirt freshman Filip Mihaljevic claimed the gold medal with a throw of 18.88m (61-11½ ).
The Cavaliers’ Jordan Young – who took the gold medal in the weight throw earlier in the meet – took the silver in the shot with a throw of 18.80m (61-8¼ ). Duke’s Stephen Boals – the reigning ACC Field Performer of the Week – took the bronze at 18.16m (59-7 ).
Mihaljevic became just the second Virginia men’s shot put champion in ACC Championships history, joining Thom McKinney (1991).
The men’s 3,000 meters race at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships showcased two of the conference’s finest distance runners. And with his team needing every point in its quest for a team title, Virginia Tech’s Thomas Curtin came through.
Curtin outdueled Syracuse’s Martin Hehir at the finish for an ACC Championship and Rector Field House record time of 7:52.91. Hehir checked in at 7:53.15, and Virginia’s Kyle King claimed the silver at 8:03.31.
Curtin joined William Muherin (2013) to give the Hokies two all-time champions in the men’s 3000.
ZIEGLER’S RECORD LIFTS HOKIES
Virginia Tech’s Manuel Ziegler saved his record-setting performance for an opportune time.
Ziegler set an overall ACC record in the men’s triple jump during Saturday’s ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships with a winning distance of 16.61m (54-6).
The Virginia Tech senior topped the previous conference and meet record of 16.57m set by NC State’s Mike Patton in 1998. The jump also moved the Hokies into first place in the overall Championships scoring, 6.5 points ahead of defending champion Florida State with three events still to be decided.
Louisville’s Ben Williams took the silver medal at 16.45m (53-11.75), and Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Gardner the bronze with the same distance.
WOMEN’s 3000 METERS
Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel owns a sweep of the women’s distance events at the 2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Less than 24 hours after setting a meet record in the 5000 meters, the Irish sophomore claimed the 3000-meter race on Saturday with a winning time of 9:10.63. Seidel finished ahead of Virginia Tech’s Sarah Rapp (9:12.86) and 2014 winner Annie LeHardy of North Carolina (9:16.37).
MEN’S POLE VAULT
Virginia Tech’s Chris Uhle delivered an ACC Indoor Championship record 5.52m (18-1¼ ) in the men’s pole vault, matching his season’s best and fueling a late Hokies surge in the team scoring.
Georgia Tech’s Nikita Kirillov took the silver medal at 5.47m (17-11¼ ), but Uhle and bronze medalist Jared Allison (5.22m (17-1½ )) led a Virginia Tech effort that produced 25 team points in the event. The Hokies finished the event with 72 total team points, just 3.50 behind overall leader Florida State.
MEN’S 200 METERS
After a narrow miss in the men’s 60 meters earlier in the day, Clemson’s Tevin Hester made the most of his chance in the 200 meters.
Hester raced to a gold medal in a time of 20.84. North Carolina sophomore Ceo Ways took the silver at 21.14, and Florida State’s Kendal Williams held third at 21.15.
Hester became the first Clemson men’s 200 winner at the Championship since Jacey Harper took three straight gold medals from 2001 through 2003.
WOMEN’S 200 METERS
The records keep coming for Miami sophomore Shakima Wimbley.
Wimbley took the gold medal in the women’s 200 meter dash with an ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship run of 23.08, breaking the previous mark of 23.16 set by Miami’s Murielle Ahoure in 2009,
Florida State’s Kala Funderburk took the silver medal at 23.41, and Virginia’s Jordan Lavender held third at 23.80.
With Wimbley’s successful defense of her 2014 gold medal, Miami student-athletes now own six all-time first-place finishes in the women’s 200 meters at the ACC Indoors.
Florida State held the upper hand in a highly competitive men’s 800 at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, claiming both the gold and bronze medals.
The Seminoles’ Jake Burton posted the first-place time of 1:49.31, fending off North Carolina sophomore Cory Nicholls (1:49.71) and FSU teammate Otneil Teixeira at 1:49.71,
Burton became the first-ever FSU runner to win the men’s 800 meters at the ACC Indoor Championships.
WOMEN’s 800: GREEN MAKES HER MARK
Virginia Tech sophomore Hanna Green definitely gave the home crowd a reason to cheer.
Green ran down Bowerman Watch List candidate and ACC record-holder Natoya Goule of Clemson on the final lap to claim the women’s 800 in an ACC Indoor Championship and Rector Field House time of 2:03.43. Goule’s 2:03.57 in the lighting fast race was good for the silver medal, and North Carolina’s Elizabeth Whelan took the bronze at 2:03.85.
Green’s record-setting run featured a closing split of 31.17.
MEN’S 60 METERS
In a 60-meter dash that could not have been much closer, Florida State freshman Kendal Williams held the edge.
Williams took the gold with a dash of 6:551, edging out Clemson’s Tevin Hester at 6:555. The Seminoles also took the bronze medal, with sophomore Cejhae Greene taking third at 6.64.
Florida State claimed its sixth consecutive gold medal in the men’s 60 meters and its eighth overall. An FSU or Clemson student-athlete has won the event every year since 1998.
WOMEN’S 60 METERS
Syracuse claimed its first-ever gold medal in the ACC Indoor Track and Field Indoor Track and Field women’s 60 meters, as junior Shaina Harrison raced to victory in 7.31.
Harrison placed ahead of the Clemson duo of Masia Jacobs (7.39) and Samantha Elliott (7.44). Elliott took the bronze after previously claiming the gold in the 60 meter hurdles.
Virginia senior Peyton Hazzard ran a blazing time of 46.62 in the first heat, and the time stood up for a gold medal in the men’s 400 of the ACC Indoor Championship Track and Field Championship.
Hazzard placed ahead of Notre Dame senior Christopher Giesting, the defending champion whose closing surge in the second heat placed him just ahead of Florida State sophomore Michael Cherry in a photo finish. Giesting took the silver medal at 46.78 and Cherry the bronze at 46.80.
Hazzard is the first Virginia men’s 400 champion since Ben Kurgat took the gold in 1989.
RECORD TIME FOR BAMGBOSE
Notre Dame junior Margaret Bambgose ran to victory in the women’s 400 meters in ACC Indoor Championship record time, taking the gold medal in 52.10.
Bamgbose broke the previous mark of 52.61 set by Georgia Tech’s Ashlee Kidd in 2006. Bambgbose edged Miami sophomore Shakima Wimbley – the ACC’s overall record holder in the event. Wimbley finished with a silver medal time of 52.15. Florida State’s junior Kala Funderburk took the bronze at 52.26.
WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP (1:00)
Clemson placed 1-2 in the ACC Indoor Track and Field women’s triple jump, with sophomore Iana Amsterdam claiming the gold medal and junior Mimi Land the silver.
Amsterdam won with a jump of 12.89m (42-3½ ). Land placed second at 12.84m (42-1½ ), and Syracuse sophomore Regine Hunter took the bronze medal at 12.71m (41-8½ ).
The Clemson student-athletes took turns swapping medal positioning before Amsterdam’s distance held at the top of the leader board. Tigers won the event for the fourth time in the ACC Championships’ 29-year history and for the first time since Jasmine Brunson took the gold medal for the Tigers in 2012 at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center.
MEN’S 60 METER HURDLES (12:50)
Miami claimed the ACC Championships men’s 60-meter hurdles gold medal for the fifth time in seven seasons, as senior Christian Cook delivered a gold medal run of 7.79.
Syracuse senior Donald Pollitt was second at 7.83, while sophomore Ashad Johnson-Conley of Pitt took the bronze medal at 7.84.
WOMEN’S 60 METER HURDLES (12:50)
Clemson senior Samantha Elliott made the most of her final ACC Championship women’s 60 meter hurdles run, racing to the gold in 8.17.
Elliott edged defending champion Jade Barber of Notre Dame, who took the silver at 8.20. Duke junior Teddi Maslowski took the bronze at 8.45.
Clemson student-athletes now own four 60-meter hurdle gold medals at the ACC Indoor Championships, all of which have come in the last five years.
MEN’S MILE (12:20)
Virginia Tech freshman Patrick Joseph made a strong first impression at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Running on his home track, Joseph overtook Duke senior Nate McClafferty with just over one lap remaining and ran to a gold medal finish of 4:01.57 in the men’s mile on Saturday. McClafferty took the silver at 4:03.15, and Virginia Tech’s Neil Gourley was the bronze medalist at 4:03.79.
The Hokies have now taken first place in the men’s mile each of the past two years and five times overall.
WOMEN’S MILE (12:15)
Make it two straight gold medals for Florida State’s Colleen Quigley.
Quigley – ran to a gold medal time of 4:36.23 in the women’s mile on Saturday, successfully defending her ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships title. The FSU senior -- who earlier this season established an ACC women’s record – edged Notre Dame junior Danielle Aragon, who took the silver at 4:37.68. Clemson freshman Grace Barnett took the bronze at 4:42.79.
Quigley’s gold medal is the sixth by an FSU woman’s miler, all of which have come since 2004.
KNIBB DELIVERS FOR NOLES (11:10 AM)
With defending champion Florida State’s women needing points to make a final day push at the 2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, sophomore Kellion Knibb delivered.
Knibb took the shot put gold medal on Saturday morning with a winning throw of 15.65m (51-4.5 ). Virginia sophomore Christine Bohan took the silver at 15.48m (50-9.5 ), while Notre Dame’s Emily Morris placed third at 15.35m (50-4.5).
Knibb becomes the fourth Florida State woman to claim the ACC Indoor shot put gold medal and the first since Kamorean Hayes in 2009.