Track & Field: UVA men will send five members to NCAA Championships

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Cavalier men finished competition at the NCAA East Preliminary round at Hodges Stadium on Friday in Jacksonville, as four individuals joined Ethan Dabbs in punching their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.


Nate Mountain led the way for Virginia in the 3000-meter steeplechase winning the opening heat while running a time of 8:37.40.

  • Mountain entered the meet as the top seed in the east and ran the fastest qualifying time of the field
  • The sophomore qualifies for the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career after coming one step short in 2022
  • The accomplishment comes just over a week after Mountain won the ACC title in the event

Derek Johnson advanced to the NCAA Championships as well coming out of the third and final heat with a time of 8:44.73.

  • Johnson has reached the NCAA Championships for the second time in his career
  • The senior entered the meet seeded third in the east and qualified thanks to a second-place finish in his heat
  • He last qualified for the championship meet in the 2021 season when as a sophomore he placed seventh to earn first-team All-American honors
  • Though injury ended Johnson’s 2022 season before it began, the graduate student has made his way back to the championship meet


Battling through windy conditions on the track, Murphy punched his own ticket to the NCAA Championships in the 800 meters.

  • The junior qualified for the championship meet out of the final heat picking up the second time qualifier with his time of 1:50.23
  • Murphy advances to an NCAA Championship meet for the second time this season after picking up All-American honors in the indoor mile in February
  • Murphy earned first-team All-ACC honors for a second-place finish at the ACC Indoor Championships and second-team honors at the outdoor championships


Virginia’s Owayne Owens is back in the NCAA Championships in the triple jump after clearing a mark of 16.25 meters (53’3.75”)

  • Despite the windy conditions, Owens posted the fourth-best mark in the field
  • Owens reaches the meet for the third consecutive season having earned All-American honors outdoors in 2021
  • Between the indoor and outdoor seasons Owens is a five-time All-American in the triple jump
  • The Cavalier veteran is set to go to the NCAA Championships for the second time in 2023 after finishing third at the indoor championships where he marked a personal-best (16.69 meters)

Altogether, the Cavalier men will send five individuals to the NCAA Championships including: Ethan Dabbs (Javelin), Nate Mountain (3000 SC), Derek Johnson (3000 SC), Conor Murphy (800 meters), and Owayne Owens (Triple Jump). The total matches the number of individuals Virginia has sent to the NCAA Championships in each of the last two seasons.


“Our men have done a fantastic job of putting themselves in the right position to advance to the next round. The windy conditions made things tough on everyone today, but our team did an exceptional job. It is great to see five excellent competitors move on to the NCAA Championships in Austin.”


The Cavalier women resume their competition as the East Regional Preliminary comes to a close Saturday. Competition will begin with Ashley Anumba at 1 p.m. in the discus.