Track & Field: Virginia begins competition at NCAA East Preliminaries

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams are set to send 29 individual athletes (12 men, 17 women) and two relay squads to the NCAA East Preliminary qualifier in Jacksonville, Fla. (hosted by North Florida). The top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the NCAA Championships. The men’s events will take place on Wednesday and Friday, while the women’s competition will be held on Thursday and Saturday.


Live coverage of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s East Preliminary Round will be streamed live each day via ESPN+. Links to the ESPN+ live stream, live stats and the overall meet schedule are available at Updates will also be posted to the team’s official Twitter account (@UVAtfcc).


2. Ethan Dabbs – Sr., Javelin, 80.82m (265’2”)
5. Owayne Owens – Sr., Triple Jump, 16.61m (54’6’)
6. Nate Mountain – So., 3000 SC, 8:32.05
8. Derek Johnson – Gr., 3000 SC, 8:33.82
20. Conor Murphy – Jr., 800 meters, 1:47.27
24. Yasin Sado – Jr., 3000 SC, 8:42.48

3. Margot Appleton – So., 1500, 4:08.96
7. Ashley Anumba – Gr., Discus, 59.37m (194’9”)
13. Margot Appleton – So., 5000m, 15:36.28
16. Jordan Hardy – So., Triple Jump, 13.41m (44’0”)
19. Virginia 4x100m, 43.71
20. Esther Seeland – Gr., 800m, 4:12.55
21. Sam Romano – Fr., Pole Vault, 4.28m (14’0.5”)
22. Alix Still – Jr., Heptathlon, 5662 points


  • The Cavaliers have 10 athletes (5 men, 5 women) entering the meet as a top-10 seed in their respective events
  • Reigning ACC Champions Ethan Dabbs (Javelin) and Nathan Mountain (3000 SC), enter as the top seeds in the east region.
  • Four more Cavaliers enter the meet as a top-five seed including Margot Appleton (2, 1500m), Ashley Anumba (4, DT), Derek Johnson (3, 3000 SC), Owayne Owens (4, TJ)
  • Ranking 22nd nationally in the Heptathlon, Alix Still qualifies directly to the NCAA Championships in the event.


Four Cavaliers enter the meet seeking their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships:

  • Ethan Dabbs – NCAA runner up in the javelin
  • Ashley Anumba – Second-team All-American in the discus
  • Yasin Sado – Second-team All-American in 3000-meter steeplechase
  • Owayne Owens – 19th in the triple jump
  • Jada Seaman – 23rd in the 200 meters


A trio of Cavalier steeplechasers including Nate Mountain, Derek Johnson and Yasin Sado all look a threat to qualify for the NCAA Championships after scoring a combined 22 points at the ACC Championships two weeks prior:


  • A season ago, Mountain placed fourth at the ACC Championships running 8:39.42 – a time which qualified him for the NCAA East Preliminary Round where he placed 17th just slightly missing NCAA qualification
  • This season, Mountain ran a then-best of 8:34.99 at the Virginia Grand Prix and went on to become the first Cavalier to win the event at the ACC Championships posting a personal best of 8:32.05 which ranks second all-time at UVA


  • After an All-American campaign in the 3000 SC in 2021 when he placed seventh in the event at the NCAA Championships, Johnson was sidelined for 2021-22 due to injury
  • In 2022-23 he is back in impressive form leading the Cavaliers to a automatic qualifier in the 2022 Cross Country season – the Hoos went on to finish 22nd at the NCAA Championships
  • Indoors, Johnson set the Virginia 5000m record at BU’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational (13:39.88)
  • Outdoors, Johnson holds the Virginia record in the 3000 SC (8:28.72) which he set in 2021
  • This season, Johnson finished second at the ACC Championships posting 8:33.82


  • Sado qualified for the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase a season ago earning second-team All-American status after a 14th-place finish. He also won silver at the ACC Championships in 2022.
  • This season, Sado had not gone over a single hurdle until the ACC Championships. Despite his last steeplechase competition coming nearly a year prior, Sado clocked 8:42.48 to place fifth earning second-team All-ACC honors.


In his first season at UVA, Steve Lemke has two of the meet’s top throwers eyeing NCAA Qualification for the second consecutive season. Ethan Dabbs (Javelin) and Ashley Anumba both hold Virginia records in their events.


  • At the ACC Outdoor Championships, Ethan Dabbs became just the fourth competitor to win four ACC titles in the men’s javelin and the 12th to win four men’s titles in any event (third Cavalier to accomplish the feat)
  • A season ago, Ethan Dabbs won gold in the javelin marking a conference and meet record (82.92m)
  • This season, Dabbs set a Virginia Challenge and Lannigan Field record with his season-best throw of 80.82 meters


  • Dabbs finished as the runner up at last season’s NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
  • He returned for the USATF Championships where he won gold on the same field
  • Dabbs went on to represent Team USA at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon
  • Dabbs has qualified for the NCAA Championships in two of the three seasons in which he has competed
  • He missed NCAAs placing 14th at the qualifiers the last time the meet was held in Jacksonville (2021) throwing through injury


  • Ashley Anumba has broken the UVA discus record on six occasions since arriving at Virginia in 2022
  • She broke her own mark with her first throw of the season that reached 59.37m (193’9”) at Raleigh Relays – She would go on to break the record once more this season
  • Anumba won silver at the ACC Outdoor Championships in the Discus throwing 58.50 meters. She also threw a personal-best of 16.19 meters in the shot put to place seventh.
  • Aumba is enrolled in UVA Law School and continues to thrive despite the rigorous work load involved


  • At the Tucson Elite Classic, Anumba once again broke the Virginia discus record marking 60.97m (200’0”) to take the win
  • She is one of six NCAA Division I Throwers to break 60 meters this season and one of just four to hit 200 meters


The top 12 in each event will move on to the NCAA Championships contested in Austin, Texas from June 7-10.