NEW YORK, N.Y. – VMI’s men’s 4X800-meter relay team won its race in dominating fashion, Renee Reives claimed victory in the women’s shot put and Grant Holmes grabbed his first collegiate win in the men’s pole vault to highlight VMI track and field’s action Saturday at the NYU Saturday Night Shootout, hosted by New York University at the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York, N.Y. The relay and Reives both qualified to the IC4A/ECAC Championships in the process.
The 4X800 squad was one of VMI’s last events of the day, but the Keydets made the wait count behind Andrey Dmitriev, Max Midkiff, Jacob Lysher and Avery Martin. The foursome clocked in at 7:47.38 to punch their ticket to the IC4A meet.
Dmitriev took the race out in 1:55 after being last at the end of one lap and passed to the freshman Midkiff, who was able to maintain a sizeable lead. Lysher, running his first track event since last May’s Liberty Twilight Qualifier, went out in an extremely quick 55-second first 400-meters and was able to hang on to the same margin, and Martin closed out the win. Of note, both Dmitriev and Martin were coming off multiple races yesterday at the Great Dane Classic, Martin in the 800 and distance medley relay (DMR) and Dmitriev in the open mile and the DMR.
In the men’s pole vault, meanwhile, freshman Holmes won a battle on misses to take his first collegiate win. Both the Keydet and Justin Farrenkopf of Manhattan sailed over the bar at 4.60 meters (15’1”), but Holmes got through the clearance with fewer misses and thus, won the title.
VMI’s other win on the day came in the women’s shot put, where Reives assured herself of a March trip to Boston with an ECAC qualifying effort in the event. She hurled the implement 13.64 meters (44’9”) to take the title.
Both Holmes and Reives had company in their event groups, in terms of quality performances by their teammates. Thrower Mary Grace Lemon was fifth in the women’s weight throw, with a best effort of 16.03 meters (52’7”), while Joel Hoisington continued his solid weekend with two top-seven finishes, placing third in the men’s shot put (14.80 M/48’6 ¾”) and seventh in the weight throw (13.48 M/44’2”). In addition, Kate Collins was third in the women’s pole vault (3.60 M/11’9 ¾”).
The Keydets turned in solid performances on the track as well, with Sean Helmke among them. Helmke was seventh in the men’s mile, crossing the stripe in 4:21.84, while on the women’s side, Hannah Dickinson used a late surge to finish sixth among Division I competitors in the mile (5:22.92).
Freshman Greg Henderson also continued to impress, placing sixth among D1 athletes (12th overall) in the men’s 200-meter dash. Henderson crossed the line in 22.67 seconds.
Finally, Quincy Murphy finished seventh in the Division I long jump with a best leap of 6.72 meters (22’0 ¾”).
“I’m very pleased with the way we competed this weekend,” said VMI head coach Darrin Webb. “We asked a lot of different people to do a lot of different things, and they stepped up and rose to the occasion. It’s possible some performances could have been better along the way, but we have a long way to go towards conference, and to compete well through a challenging two-meet weekend like this, where multiple athletes took part in as many as four or five events, is a great sign as we go forward to next weekend’s Youngstown State meet.”
VMI track and field will return to action Friday, taking part in the Youngstown State Invitational in Youngstown, Ohio.
Note: Photo galleries from both NYC meets are expected to be available on VMIKeydets.com next week.