NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Before going on family vacations, cars are usually taken to the local auto mechanic to make sure everything is tuned up and in prestine condition.
That's exactly what the Virginia Commonwealth University track & field program did this past weekend at the Vince Brown Invitational, posting 11 top-three finishes in preparation for next weekend's meet at Virginia Tech.
"This was a great tune-up opportunity for our program as we gear up for the meet at Virginia Tech this weekend," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "My coaching staff and I really feel like we are hitting our stride at the right time."
On the men's side, senior Antonio Norvell and sophomore Dominic Costanzo led the way, claiming victories in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. Norvell clocked in at 22.68, while Costanzo broke the line in 50.02.
Senior Donnie Seward was solid all day, grabbing two second-place finishes in the 200-meter (22.86) and 400-meter (50.45) dashes. Classmate Joe Edwards also took home a second-place finish with a leap of 46' 3 ¼" in the triple jump.
On the distance side of things, sophomores Alex Hinton and Brenden Leavitt posted personal bests in the 800-meter and 5,000-meter runs. Hinton placed third with a time of 1:57.26 in the 800, while Leavitt clocked in at 16:03.91.
Senior Marvin Edison garnered a top-five finish in the shot put with a heave of 45' 2 ¼".
For the women, junior Jazlynn Finney notched two top-four finishes in the 200 (2nd - 25.49) and 400 (3rd - 58.77) meter dashes. Both times were personal bests for the Leesburg, Va. native.
Sophomore Jennifer McAvoy and freshman Dionna Hayes were the other two women who took home second-place finishes at the meet. McAvoy tallied a leap of 36' 7 ½" in the triple jump, while Hayes clocked in 25.49 in the 200-meter dash.
A trio of juniors all took home fourth-place finishes and personal bests with Rachel Montague in the 60-meter hurdles (8.97), Brandy Preston in the weight throw (49' 9 ¼") and Heather Dela Cruz in the 3,000-meter run (10.47:08)
"I'm very pleased with the effort everyone gave this weekend," Riley said. "As a staff, we really challenged out athletes at practice this week and it was tough for all of them. It was great to see them push through that and perform well."
VCU will take on top-level competition next week when they head west to the Virginia Tech Challenge in Blacksburg, Va.