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ACC student-athletes make huge showing on final day of NCAA Indoors
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference added a pair of gold medals as the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships wrapped up Saturday at the CrossPlex.
Virginia junior Henry Wynne took the men’s mile with a time of 4:06.63, while Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel continued her unbelievable run of success with a winning time of 8:57.56.
Wynne, who paced the field for most of the race, held off multiple attacks from Jonah Koech of UTEP and edged Blake Haney of Oregon by 0.08 to win the men’s mile in a time of 4:06.63.
“It was an awesome race out there,” Wynne said. “It was very tactical and I tried to get out front early and not get mixed up in all of the pushing and shoving in the middle of the pack. Jonah Koech of UTEP came around me with 600 meters to go and it was a real race from there, hitting each other back and forth and sprinting as fast as possible. To cross the line in first place is an amazing feeling and I’m looking forward to more in the future.”
With the win, Virginia’s sixth NCAA individual event championship, Wynne becomes the third Cavalier to win an NCAA title and the first to win an event other than the 800 meters. Paul Ereng won three 800m titles (1989 indoors and 1988 and 1989 outdoors) and Robby Andrews captured two 800m crowns (2010 indoors and 2011 outdoors).
“I am so proud of Henry,” UVA distance coach Pete Watson said. “Nine months ago, he left Eugene (Oregon) after his first trip to the NCAA Championships and committed himself to being great. He matured, became focused and decided he wanted to be great. This indoor season has been special and every race we were in, we came in with the goal to win. We mapped out the race plan this morning and Henry followed it perfectly.”
“After watching the mile last night, we felt by holding Henry out of the distance medley relay that he could have a chance to do something special,” UVA director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer added. “I cannot think of something more special than an NCAA Championship.”
Seidel’s 3,000 meter NCAA title is her fourth in a span of nine months. In addition to Friday night’s victory in the women’s 5,000 meters, she also owns gold medals in outdoor track and cross country.
“Molly had a target on her back coming into this meet after winning the cross country title in 2015," Notre Dame distance coach Matt Sparks said following Seidel’s 5,000 win on Friday night. "She handled those expectations with poise and confidence, solidifying her legend in Notre Dame lore.”
Notre Dame’s women led all ACC teams with a fifth-place team finish. The Virginia men finished eighth and Syracuse placed 11th in the team scoring.
A number of other ACC student-athlete posted silver and bronze medal finishes in their respective events. Please see the link below for complete results and follow @ACCTrackField on Twitter. More on the ACC’s collective showing in the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will also be available Sunday on theACC.com.