Track & Field: Appleton’s fourth-place finish highlights final day of NCAA Championships

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia women’s track and field team finished competition at the NCAA Outdoor Championships Saturday in Eugene, as Margot Appleton came away with a fourth-place finish and First Team All-American honors in the 5000-meter run.

Margot Appleton Returns to Podium 
In the 5000-meters, Margot Appleton put together an stellar performance competing in a loaded field of runners. The ACC bronze medalist ran in the middle of the pack until the field began to string out. Appleton stuck with the second group of runners to ultimately cross the line in 15:24.24 for fourth place overall.

After earning All-American honors in the 1500m with her third place finish at this meet a year ago, Appleton continues to display her range finishing top-five in the 5000m this season in Eugene.

She is the first to record All-American honors in the event since Patricia Matara accomplished the feat in 1988.

The junior concludes another impressive season with her second consecutive outdoor First Team All-American honors.

Celia Rifaterra Setting the Bar
In her NCAA Outdoor Championship debut, Celia Rifaterra cleared 1.77m/5-9.75 to finish 18th in the high jump and earn All-American Honorable Mention honors.

The sophomore is the first Cavalier to earn honors at the NCAA meet in the high jump since Sherry Gauld in 1993.

Rifaterra kickstarted the competition clearing the opening height of 1.72m/5-7.75 on her first attempt before clearing 1.77m/5-9.75 on her second attempt at the height.

Rifaterra entered the competition with an outdoor personal-best of 1.81m/5-11.25 and just narrowly missed out on clearing a new personal-best height at 1.82m/5-11.50.

  • Shane Cohen put on a show to win the NCAA 800m title in new personal-best 1:44.97. Cohen became the third individual in Virginia history to achieve the feat and joins the company of legendary Cavaliers Paul Ereng (1988, 1989) and Robby Andrews (2011).
  • Nate Mountain finished runner-up in the 3000m steeplechase with his time of 8:25.71. The junior improved upon his fourth place finish from a year ago.
  • Following Mountain, Yasin Sado finished seventh in the 3000m steeplechase with his time of 8:28.17 to earn First Team All-American honors.
  • The dynamic steeplechase duo tallied 10 of the teams total 26 points.
  • In his NCAA Outdoor Championship debut, Wes Porter finished sixth in the 1500m in 3:40.39 to earn the first All-American accolades of his career. Porter is the first Cavalier to earn honors in the event since Henry Wayne back in 2016.
  • In the ring, Jacob Lemmon finished sixth in the discus with his second round throw of 60.43m/198-3. Lemmon remains one of two Cavaliers to earn All-American honors for the first time in program history. Prior to Claudio Romano and Lemmon in 2021, no Virginia athlete had achieved the feat.
  • On the first day of competition, three Cavaliers earned All-American Honorable Mention.
  • In his NCAA Outdoor Championships debut, John Fay threw for 65.23m/214-0 on his second throw of the competition to finish 23rd
  • Gary Martin’s season came to a close in the men’s 1500m semifinal as the sophomore crossed the line in 3:41.43 to finish ninth in his heat and 21st overall.
  • Will Anthony capped of an impressive season with an 18th place finish in the men’s 10,000m with his time of 28:56.48.
  • Virginia advanced four of five athletes to the finals including Shane Cohen (800m), Wes Porter (1500m), Nate Mountain (3000m steeplechase) and Yasin Sado (3000m steeplechase).
  • The Virginia women scored a total 5 points to finish 40th in the team standings at the end of the weekend.
  • With their eighth place finish in the team standings, the Virginia men posts its third-highest finish at the NCAA Championships in program history. The Cavaliers’ 26 points also ranks as their second-most in program history
  • Virginia finished higher than any other ACC team at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year.
  • The Cavaliers’ totaled six First-Team All-Americans and four Honorable Mention All-Americans between the men and the women.