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May 9, 2011

Tech men's track and field team claims second at ACC meet

By: Jimmy Robertson

Marcel Lomnicky continued his dominance in the hammer throw, claiming his third ACC title in the event with a record toss of 248 feet, 10 inches.

The Virginia Tech men’s track and field team claimed the ACC’s indoor crown back in February, but couldn’t turn the double, finishing second at the ACC’s outdoor meet held in late April at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C.

The Tech men finished with 153.5 points, while Florida State took the crown with 174.5. It marked the Seminoles’ sixth consecutive men’s outdoor title.

Still, the Tech men had some outstanding performances, including four ACC champions.

Marcel Lomnicky turned in the most impressive performance for the Hokies, winning the hammer throw. He set a school record with a toss of 248 feet, 10 inches – a mark that ranks first in the nation. He broke his own school record and the ACC meet record of 235 feet, 6 inches.

Lomnicky won the ACC title in the hammer throw for the third straight time. Teammates Alexander Ziegler and Denis Mahmic helped the Hokies sweep the event, finishing second and third, respectively.

The other three winners for the men were Hasheem Halim, Jared Jodon and Matthias Treff. Halim won the triple jump with a leap of 52 feet, 10 inches, helping Tech claim its first ACC triple jump title and the first triple jump crown since 2004 in the Big East. Jodon won the pole vault with a vault of 17 feet, 2.25 inches, and the title was the first of his career. Treff won his second career ACC title in the javelin, besting the field with a toss of 239 feet, 6 inches.

Several other members of the men’s team finished second. In addition to Ziegler, David Wilson (triple jump), Joe Davis (pole vault) and Will Mulherin (5,000-meter run) claimed silver medals. Michael Hammond finished third in the 1,500, along with Jeff Artis-Gray, who finished third in the long jump. The 400-meter relay team of Wilson, Keith Ricks, Darrell Wesh and Ebenezer Amegashie claimed bronze as well.

Dorotea Habazin won her third ACC hammer throw title, setting an ACC and a school record with a toss of 224 feet, 3 inches.

On the women’s side, Tech finished in seventh place with 53.5 points. Clemson took home the gold with a program-best 202 points.

Two Tech women won individual championships at the meet. Samira Burkhardt continued what has been a stellar freshman campaign, winning the shot put competition with a throw of 52 feet, 3.25 inches. She is only the second Hokie to win an indoor and outdoor ACC title as a freshman (Marcel Lomnicky in 2009).

Dorotea Habazin won the other title for Tech. She won in record-breaking fashion, winning the women’s hammer throw with an all-time ACC record toss of 224 feet, 3 inches on her first attempt – over 42 feet farther than the second-place finisher. She beat the previous record of 220 feet, 6 inches set by Clemson’s Jamine Moton in 2002.

This is Habazin’s third career hammer throw title and her fourth conference title overall. She also set a new school record, beating her own previous record of 218 feet, 11 inches.

The Tech women’s other top performance came from the women’s 400-meter relay team, which finished second in a stellar neck-and-neck race with conference leader Clemson. The squad of Ebony Scott, Funmi Alabi, Zakiya Tyson and Ogechi Nwaneri crossed the line with a season-best finish of 44.68 seconds, a time that ranks fourth all time at Tech.

Following the meet, the Virginia Tech men’s team moved to seventh nationally in the USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) rankings, and Florida State moved to No. 3. Texas A&M and LSU are the top two teams in the nation, respectively.

Tech track and field athletes will now attempt to qualify for the NCAA Regionals held May 26-28 in Bloomington, Ind. The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held June 8-11 in Des Moines, Iowa.