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April 7, 2011

Men's track and field team claims 15th at NCAA indoor track and field meet

By: Jimmy Robertson

Yavgeniy Olhovsky and Alexander Ziegler earned All-America honors in their respective events. Olhovsky became a seven-time All-American in the pole vault, and Ziegler earned his second All-America honor in the weight throw.

The Virginia Tech men’s track and field team finished in 15th place at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held March 11-12 in College Station, Texas.

The Hokies, who finished 19th at the same meet a year ago, accumulated 13.5 points because of the efforts of their four All-Americans.

Pole vaulters Yavgeniy Olhovsky and Hunter Hall, runner Michael Hammond and thrower Alexander Ziegler all claimed All-America honors with their performances.

The honor marked the seventh time in his career that Olhovsky has been an All-American, having been named such every indoor and outdoor season since 2008. The Petah-Tivka, Israel, native – who won the ACC championship – recorded a vault of 17 feet, 6.5 inches (5.35 meters) to claim eighth place.

Hall, who became an All-American for the third time, tied for sixth in the pole vault. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native set a personal best with a vault of 17 feet, 6.5 inches, easily besting his previous career high of 17 feet, 2.75 inches.

Hammond, a junior from Midlothian, Va., earned the first All-America performance of his career after he finished in seventh place in the mile. He ran the race in 4:01.80, finishing just over two seconds behind winner Miles Batty of BYU.

Ziegler earned the second All-America honor of his career after finishing second in the weight throw with a toss of 69 feet, 9.5 inches (21.27 meters). The sophomore from Germany finished less than a meter behind LSU’s Walter Henning, who claimed the title with a toss of 22.16 meters. Ziegler’s teammate, Marcel Lomnicky, came in 14th.

On the women’s side, Dorotea Habazin finished 17th in the weight throw, while Samira Burkhardt claimed 12th in the shot put. Kelly Phillips, the ACC champ in the pole vault, finished in ninth place.

The Hokies have already begun their outdoor season. They compete in several outdoor meets before the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships held April 21-23 in Durham, N.C.