Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 12 No. 6 | June 2020

14 Inside Hokie Sports Peter Seufer’s career ended in the worst possible way imaginable. A day before taking the track at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Seufer and his teammates received the news that the NCAA had canceled all winter and spring sport championships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Seufer had hoped that the NCAA would grant winter sport student-athletes an additional year of eligibility because he had used all his outdoor track and field eligibility, but NCAA officials only extended the additional year to those who participated in spring sports. So Seufer’s career came to an end. The ending, though, shouldn’t diminish Seufer’s accomplish­ ments. He enjoyed a banner final season, earning All-America honors in two sports, and for that, he is Inside Hokie Sports’ 2019- 20 Athlete of the Year. He became the fifth Tech men’s track and field athlete to be named the magazine’s Athlete of the Year since the publication started doing this in 1995. The complete list of winners includes Cornell Brown (football), Jim Druckenmiller (football), Katie Ollendick (women’s track and field), Corey Moore (football), André Davis (football), Lee Suggs (football), Bryant Matthews (men’s basketball), Kevin Jones (football), Queen Harrison (women’s track and field), Dorotea Habazin (women’s track and field), Marcel Lomnicky (men’s track and field), Spyridon Jullien (men’s track and field), Angela Tincher (softball), Alexander Ziegler (men’s track and field), Erick Green (men’s basketball), Devin Carter (wrestling), Irena Sediva (women’s track and field), Tommy Curtin (men’s track and field), Hanna Green (women’s track and field), Jared Haught (wrestling), and Mekhi Lewis (wrestling). Seufer beat out several worthy contenders for this year’s Athlete of the Year recognition, including teammate Jacory Patterson, an All-American in the 400 and collegiate record setter in the 300; Mandy McGlynn, an All-American in women’s soccer; Aisha Sheppard, an All-ACC selection in women’s basketball; and Rayshard Ashby, a first-team All-ACC linebacker who led the ACC in tackles. In cross country, Seufer won his second consecutive ACC title in dominating fashion. He went straight to the front of the pack right at the start of the race and gradually pulled away, winning by whopping 39 seconds over his nearest competitor. He followed that win with a victory at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet, and then at the NCAA Championships in late November, he finished fourth—the highest finish ever by a Tech men’s distance runner. He earned All-America honors for the second consecutive season. Seufer continued his dominance during the indoor track and field season. At the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Seufer was the Men’s Most Valuable Performer after winning gold medals in both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races. He won the 3,000 a year ago, and this past season, became the first Tech runner ever to win back-to-back 3,000 races at a conference meet. Following the indoor season, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Seufer an All-American in the 3,000, 5,000; and the distance medley relay—events he would have competed in at the NCAA Championships. He was one of four runners to be named an All-American in three events. Seufer departed Tech as a seven-time All-American—five in track and field and two in cross country. MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD AND CROSS COUNTRY SEASON HIGHLIGHTS • The Tech men’s cross country team came in third at the ACC Championships, and for the fourth time in the past five seasons, the Hokies finished in the top four. • The Hokies have finished first or second at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships in each of the past four seasons. Tech was second at the 2020 Championships. • Jacory Patterson won his third consecutive gold medal in the 400 at the ACC Championships (twice during the indoor season and once during the outdoor season). • Patterson set a collegiate record in the 300 at the Virginia Tech Invitational in January, running the event in a time of 32.28 seconds—four-hundredths of a second faster than the previous collegiate best. • Diego Zarate earned All-America honors in the mile after coming in fourth in the event at the ACC Championships. • Bashir Mosavel-Lo won a silver medal in the 800 at the ACC Championships and now has won a medal at each of the past two ACC events. • Seufer, Zarate and Fitsum Seyoum all earned All-ACC and All-Southeast Region honors in cross country. Zarate finished seventh at the ACC meet, while Seyoum was 11th. At the regional, Seyoum came in ninth, and Zarate was 22nd. PETER SEUFER R-Sr.; Lynchburg, Virginia MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY, MEN’S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD