Track & Field: Hoos open competition at Penn Relays

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams opened their final weekend of regular-season competition at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon as a group of Cavalier hurdlers and distance runners kicked things off at Franklin Field.

After an impressive performance at last weekend’s Virginia Challenge, Sophie Atkinson turned in another strong performance in Philadelphia. In the Women’s College 5000 Meter Championship, Atkinson put forward her second consecutive personal-best performance turning 5000 meters in 16.12.68 shaving two seconds off her previous best which she ran less than one week prior. The time also moves Atkinson up the Virginia performance list into eighth all-time.

The Virginia hurdlers also carried momentum from strong performances at the Virginia Challenge into Penn Relays. Emily Alexandru placed fourth in her heat of the College Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles Championship posting a time of 59.45 seconds. Alex Sherman placed second in his heat and 10th overall on the men’s side of the competition running a time of 51.64 seconds.


  • The last time the Cavaliers won a relay championship at Penn Relays was in 2011 when the Virginia men won their second consecutive title in the 4×800
  • In all, the Cavaliers have won 10 relay titles at the historic meet including six from the men’s program and four from the women
  • The women’s team’s last relay title came in 1982 in the distance medley relay – their third straight title at the time
  • The Virginia women’s total of three victories in the DMR ranks as the third-most in the history of the meet


The Cavaliers return to Franklin Field Friday and Saturday for more action at the Penn Relays. Virginia will return to Lannigan Field Sunday to host the Virginia High Performance where the program will honor its graduating seniors.