Atherley Wins ACC Pentathlon with NCAA-Leading Score
BLACKBURG, Va. – Michelle Atherley of the Miami track and field team made history on Thursday, as she dominated from start to finish on Day 1 of the ACC Indoor Championships.
Today’s complete results can be found here.
The senior swept all five events of the women’s pentathlon to win gold with a score of 4,498 points, which ranks as the best overall score in ACC history. Not only did the North Port, Fla., native break her own program record of 4,319 points, but also her previous ACC Championship score of 4,218 points from when she won the event in 2017 at Notre Dame.
“I’ve been extremely impressed in the last 22 months with Michelle with everything she has been through,” Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem said. “She’s made remarkable adjustments, like learning to jump off her opposite leg in the high jump, but also in her training.”
Atherley wasted little time getting ahead of the pack, winning the 60m dash with a time of 8.26 seconds, scoring 1,070 points. She continued to build momentum by matching her personal best mark in the high jump at 1.76m, which ranks fifth in UM history and added 928 points to her lead.
Atherley’s opening throw of 11.95m in the women’s shot put pushed her past the competition with another event win, good for 658 points. Her long jump featured a personal-best mark of 6.23m, besting the next competitor by nearly a food and a half. Heading into the final event, the 2018 ACC Outdoor Field MVP held a 256-point cushion.
The gold medalist capped off her day with a personal-best time of 2:12.98 in the 800 meters to complete her historic day.
Atherley’s score ranks as the eighth-best all-time score in the NCAA in the women’s pentathlon and is currently the top score in nation for the 2019 season.
“To go out there and to put together one of the top 10 NCAA performances ever shows what a great athlete she is,” Deem said. “The confidence she has in her training and in herself to put one together like that is something amazing to watch.”
Senior Andreas Christodoulou also began today’s meet in the men’s heptathlon by posting a season-best time of 7.32 seconds in the 60m. The Cyprus native then finished third in the long jump with a mark of 6.76m and second in the shot put with a mark of 11.90m. He closed the day with a season-best mark of 1.81m in the high jump and heads into day 2 of the event in sixth place with 2,765 points.
Christodoulou will compete in the men’s 60m hurdles, pole vault, and 1,000m to conclude the heptathlon, starting Friday at 10 a.m., tomorrow. Hasani Knight will compete in the men’s long jump at noon, while Anne den Otter and Matthew Wiefels will take part in the one mile slated for 2 p.m. The men’s 5,000m and women’s jump will conclude Day 2 of the Championships.
“I challenged everyone last night and told them that Michelle was going to lead us off and I wanted to push them to go out there, compete fearlessly and have a great weekend,” Deem said.
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