UVA’s Michaela Meyer wins 800 meters at NCAA Championships

Michaela Meyer
Michaela Meyer races to the finish line in the 800 meter finals at the NCAA Championships. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Michaela Meyer became the first female competitor in the Virginia track and field program’s history to win an individual NCAA title when she took first place Saturday in the 800 meters.

Meyer (Southbury, Conn.) used a strong finishing kick to take the lead coming off the final turn and pulled away for the win with a personal best time of 2:00.28 that broke her own UVA school record. That ranks as the ninth fastest for the 800 meters in collegiate history. Clemson’s Laurie Barton, who beat Meyer for the 800-meter title at the ACC Championships, placed second in 2:00.65.

Immediately after Meyer’s race, UVA graduate student Andrenette Knight (Morant Bay, Jamaica) finished third in the 400-meter hurdles to take the bronze medal in that competition. She ran a time of 55.81. It was Knight’s fourth time competing in the event at the NCAA Championships and was the first time she had reached the event finals.

Both Meyer and Knight earned first-team All-America honors for their performances.

During the four-day meet, the Cavaliers saw five other competitors earn first-team All-America honors thank to top eight finishes and five more garnered second-team All-America accolades.

The men’s team was led by the third- and fifth-place finishes of freshmen Claudio Romero and Jacob Lemmon respectively, in the discus throw. Romero’s top throw of 61.36 meters (201’ 4”) came on his fifth attempt. Lemmon, who was ranked No. 15 in the nation in the discus prior to the postseason competition, threw for 57.78 meters (189’ 7”) on his first attempt in the circle and that held up to get him fifth place.

In the 3000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Derek Johnson used a school-record performance to place seventh with a time of 8:32.95. That was almost four seconds better than his previous best time. It was the best showing by a Cavalier in the event since Jan Foster was sixth in 2007.

In the triple jump, Owayne Owens was 15th. His top mark was 15.77 meters (51’ 9”).  It was the first outdoor championship for all four of the Cavalier men.

Jada Seaman picked up a pair of second-team All-American honors. She was ninth in the long jump (6.36 meters / 20’ 10.5”) and part of UVA’s 4×100-meter relay team that placed 16th with a time of 44.21. That squad also included Anna Jefferson, Kayla Bonnick and Halley Hazzard. They were the first 4×100 team to represent Virginia at the NCAA Championship meet.


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