Football and basketball dominate the sports landscape at Virginia Tech. As they do across most campuses in the country. However, the academic year is full of Hokies competing for individual and teams titles. With this pause in athletics we thought it was a great chance to shine the spotlight on one particular group that excelled this year - the Women’s Indoor Track and Field team.
Just a few years after the school joined the ACC, the women’s track and field teams hit a peak in the program’s histories. Both the indoor and outdoor teams won the ACC championship in back-to-back years, 2007 and 2008. It would take nine years for the next title to arrive, 2017 in the outdoor competition. But 2020 saw a reversal of fortune.
This year’s ACC championship was held at Notre Dame and the Hokies began the final day of competition in fifth place. But Tech dominated the last day earning a massive 80 points and easily winning the ACC title by more than 30 points. The program was led by gold medal performances in the 4x400 team relay, pole vault, and long distance running competitions.
Dave Cianelli, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, commented, “We came in and knew we had a shot to do it, but obviously, you have to put it together. We have a lot of people here that, it’s their first time at a conference meet, and I thought they really came though well. We’re still a fairly young team. We have some outstanding seniors that provide some of that leadership and have been through some of conference wars over the past few years, and I think that helped a lot.”
The Hokies Men’s Indoor team came in second place behind Florida State, after finishing as co-champs in 2019.
The Women’s team was expecting to head off to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in mid-March until the season was cut short by COVID-19. However, with a young team the Hokies will like their chances of repeating next year and pushing on towards the national championship.
While he would have preferred seeing his athletes get to finish their season, Coach Cianelli ended on another good note, as he picked up his 14th ACC Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year award. He had already nabbed his 17th United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region Women’s Coach of the Year honor. The Virginia Tech program is in great hands and should continue to challenge for titles for indoor and outdoor for years to come.