FAIRFAX, Va. – While it may not be
exactly where it wanted to be at the end, the Virginia Commonwealth
University men's track & field team knows it has a bright
Need proof? 11 of its 16 point scorers at this past weekend's Colonial Athletic Association Championships will return next season. The Rams finished fifth at the meet, marking the first time in the past seven years that VCU was outside the top-three.
"Of course we're disappointed in the final standings, that's never where we want to be," Head Coach Julian Spooner said. "But I'm proud of the way most of our guys went out and battled. It was a tough year with a lot of different injuries and a fairly young squad. Hopefully, we'll learn from this experience and be back for more next year."
Juniors Allan Moody (Woodbridge, Va.) (top) and Antonio Norvell (Portsmouth, Va.) (left) each tallied points in three different events to lead the way for the Black & Gold.
Norvell had a busy weekend with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash (10.70) and a third-place finish in the 200 (21.45). He then moved over to the relays, running in the third position for both the 4x100 team that finished third (41.78) and the 4x400 team that finished fourth (3:16.42).
"That's what we've come to expect from Antonio," Spooner said. "He should be one of the top sprinters in the conference, year-in and year-out. He really is special for us because we can use him or five or six events."
Moody may have been the surprise of the meet for the Rams, garnering a fourth-place finish in the decathalon (5, 706 points) in just his first time ever in the event. He also added points for the Black & Gold in the high jump and triple jump.
"I can't say enough about Allan's efforts," Spooner said. "We asked him to do the decathalon less than a week ago and he went out and was great. He's a special athlete that really stepped up for us this weekend."
Senior Kevin Brinkley (Richmond, Va.) was the only individual champion for the Rams, clearing 16' 3" and winning the pole vault in a jump-off.
Junior Brian Wallace (Portsmouth, Va.) also had a good weekend with two top-four finishes in the long jump (23' 9" – 4th) and triple jump (48' 4 ¾" – 3rd). Freshman Juan Carlos Aldas had a huge personal best with a jump of 47' 7 ¼" in the triple jump to finish just behind Wallace in fourth-place.
Seniors DeAngelo Wilson (Richmond, Va.) and Cyprian Yankey (Richmond, Va.) ended their careers with solid weekends. Wilson grabbed points in the 100 (10.76 – 3rd place) and the 200 (21.79 – 7th). Yankey posted his fourth straight top-five showing in the discus with a toss of 147' 3".
"It's always good to see your seniors go off on a high note," Spooner said. "For the past two or three years, DeAngelo has battled injuries and that's made his journey a little tougher than usual, but he did a great job battling and scoring some key points for us. Cyprian's a guy who can sometimes get lose in the limelight, but was consistent force in the throws for us throughout his career."
The Rams return to the track in two weeks when they head to IC4A Championships in Princeton, N.J. on May 14-15.