December 5, 2009

THREE IC4A QUALIFYING MARKS HIGHLIGHT RAMS’ SEASON OPENER AT NAVY INVITATIONAL

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – While it was cold and snowing outside, the Virginia Commonwealth University men's track & field team was busy heating up the indoor track at its season opener at the Navy Invitational.

In just the first meet of the season, the Black & Gold qualified for the IC4A Championships in three events, led by juniors Antonio Norvell (Portsmouth, Va.) (left) and Joe Edwards (Virginia Beach, Va.) (above).

"It's a good start for our guys," Head Coach Julian Spooner said. "For our first meet of the year, I'm pleased with the way we performed in a bunch of different events. To get three qualifiers for IC4As right away is a solid way to set the tone for the rest of the indoor season."

Edwards was the first Ram to earn a spot in the IC4As with a leap of 47' 5 ¾" to capture the triple jump title. His mark was more than six inches better than the qualifying mark of 46' 11".

"Joe had a great offseason and really worked hard in all of his events," Spooner said. "It's really a testament to his work ethic that he was able to come right out of the gates with a qualifying jump."

Norvell followed suit with a victory in the 60-meter dash with a career best of 6.82. The time not only lands him a spot at the IC4A Championships, but it ties a 14-year old school record, originally set by Mustapha Jinadu in 1995.

"Antonio has been an outstanding asset to our program since he came in as a freshman," Spooner said. "It just shows that he's ready to once again be one of our leaders."

The final IC4A qualifying mark came from the 4x400 relay team of Edwards, juniors DeAngelo Wilson (Richmond, Va.) and Donnie Seward (Richmond, Va.) and freshman Dominic Costanzo (Richmond, Va.). The quartet finished fourth in the event with a time of 3:18.71, nearly a second better than the IC4A time.

In all, the Black & Gold posted 10 top-five finishes, six of which finished in the top-three.

Other Rams with solid performances were junior Shawn Allen (Mechanicsville, Va.) (right) with a second-place toss of 45' 7 ¼" in the shot put, junior Brian Wallace (Portsmouth, Va.) with a jump of 22' 10" in the long jump good enough for second place, senior Kevin Brinkley (Richmond, Va.) finished second in the pole vault posting a mark of 14' 9" and junior Allan Moody (Woodbridge, Va.) with a third-place finish in the triple jump.

The Rams will have over a month off for Christmas break before returning to Annapolis for another Navy Invitational on January 16th.

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