EUGENE, Ore. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Coast Conference struck gold early in the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, as Virginia junior Filip Mihaljevic captured the NCAA title in the men’s shot put during Wednesday evening’s open session at Hayward Field.
Mihaljevic delivered a school outdoor-record throw of 20.71 meters (67-11.5) on his fourth attempt – bettering his third-attempt of 20.31m (66-7.75), which had also established a new UVA mark. His fourth toss stood up against the rest of the field, including Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Purdue’s silver medal throw of 20.37m (66-10) on his sixth and final attempt.
Mihaljevic, a native of Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, claimed the 142nd NCAA outdoor track and field title by a student-athlete from a current ACC member school. His NCAA gold medal is also the fifth of 2015-16 academic year by an ACC competitor in cross country, indoor track or outdoor track. He is the first from Virginia to win an NCAA championship in a field event and the fourth Cavalier to win an NCAA title overall, joining Paul Ereng (800m - 1989 indoors and 1988 and 1989 outdoors), Robby Andrews (800m – 2010 indoors and 2011 outdoors) and current UVA junior Henry Wynne (mile – 2016 indoors).
“It is a really amazing feeling right now, all of the hard work has paid off and I’m really happy,” Mihaljevic said. “I’m truly honored to be the first UVA student-athlete to win an NCAA field event title. We have been working hard all year long and (Virginia throws) coach (Kemal) Mesic has done a great job preparing us for the big meets, and I threw the farthest when it mattered the most.”
Mihaljevic’s championship capped a successful day for ACC competitors that also included a silver medal by Virginia Tech pole vaulter Torben Laidig. The sophomore led throughout the event, clearing the first three bars on his first attempt. Earning his first All-America first team honor, Laidig’s silver medal mark was 5.55 meters (18-2.5), just shy of a personal best.
“When it came to the final jump, of course, I wanted to win it, but (Tennessee’s) Jake Blankenship came out on top,” Laidig said. “Being only a sophomore, I’m really excited about what is to come.”
Laidig’s second-place finish ties the best in the pole vault by a Hokie at the national meet (also Brian Mondschein in 2005 and Yavgeniy Olhovsky in 2008).
Wednesday was devoted entirely to men’s competition and saw a number of other ACC student-athletes earn first- or second-team All-America honors and qualify for Friday’s final round. Women’s competition gets underway this evening.
All four days of the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships are being broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks. Thursday’s broadcast begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3, with coverage on ESPNU starting at 7:30 p.m. and on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.
Friday’s telecast starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and continues at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Saturday’s broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Action is also available via WatchESPN App Track & Field Coverage: http://es.pn/1cJNkaI
EUGENE, Ore. – Clemson kicked off the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifying two of its three entries on Wednesday night for the finals. Both, Tevin Hester and the men’s 4x400 meter relay team will compete on Friday night.
Hester bounced back to qualify for the finals in the 200 meter dash after falling just shy of the cutline in the 100 meter dash an hour prior. Hester crossed the finish line at 20.45 to win his heat and take fifth place in the semifinals to advance to Friday’s final.
The men’s 4x400 meter relay team closed the night with a bang as it became the first Clemson 4x400m relay to qualify for the NCAA Championship finals since 1999. Cordell Lamb, Michael Cheeks, Jorel Bellafonte and Jeffrey Green combined for a time of 3:04.56 to claim fifth place overall in the semifinal race.
Colin Bennie earned Second Team All-America honors in the 10,000-meters and Freddie Crittenden III and Adam Palamar each automatically advanced to the finals in their respective events to highlight day one of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Bennie and Philo Germano competed in the first final on the track for the Orange on the week in the 10k, with Bennie racing to a 10th-place finish to earn second team All-America honors – the fourth-straight All-America finish for the sophomore dating back to last year's outdoor campaign.
EUGENE, Ore. – Kicking off the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Wednesday at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., graduate student Shaun Thompson represented the Blue Devils in the men’s 10,000. Thompson, competing in the first NCAA Outdoor Championships of his career, captured second team All-America accolades with a 15th-place showing with a time of 29:37.41.
EUGENE, Ore. – Kenny Selmon posted a lifetime best 49.31 time in the 400-meter hurdles to advance to the finals of the event at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Selmon had the second fastest time of all finalists.
“We’re excited to see Kenny progress and move onto the finals on Friday,” head coach Harlis Meaders said. “He’s had a very good year and he’s running the best at the right time. He’s got a chance for a run at the title.
EUGENE, Ore. – Jonathan Addison and Luis Vargas both concluded their Wolfpack careers in their main events, earning First-Team All-America honors on the opening day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at historic Haywood Field.
Both athletes scored points for the team, bringing the men into a tie for 18th place with five points after the opening day of competition.
EUGENE, Ore. - With his silver medal, pole vaulter Torben Laidig led the Virginia Tech track & field team on day one of the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
The seventh-ranked men's team is tied for 12th, following Laidig's eight points.
The sophomore led throughout the event, clearing the first three bars on his first attempt. Earning his first all-America first team honor, Laidig’s silver medal mark was 5.55 meters (18-2.5), just shy of a personal best.
EUGENE, Ore. – At the conclusion of the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Panthers will not have student-athletes competing in Friday’s finals at Historic Hayward Field.
“Today did not go as we had planned it,” head coach Alonzo Webb said. “We expected a better performance from both events. However, I am very proud of how far these guys have made it and this is just another step in the process of getting better.”
EUGENE, Ore. – Isaiah Simmons and Gian Piero Ragonesi were the first members of the University of Miami track and field program to compete at the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Simmons and Ragonesi competed in the men’s shot put on the opening day of the 2016 NCAA Championships. Fourteen student-athletes are in Eugene representing the Hurricanes at the NCAA meet.