Virginia Defends Championship of America Title at Penn Relays; Andrews Named Athlete of the Meet for Relays

Robby Andrews anchors the 4x800m relay team en route to their second straight title. (Photo Kim Spir)

Virginia's 4x800 relay team defended its Championship of America title at the 117th prestigious Penn Relays yesterday thanks in large part to sophomore Robby Andrews' speedy anchor leg. The 2010 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 800m was named the College Men's Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events. The Cavaliers won with a time of 7:12.15, which stands as the second fastest time in the history of the event.

"We came in here on a mission," Andrews said following the meet. "We were not going to lose this race."

By the time Andrews received the baton for the final leg, he and Penn State's Cas Laxsom were neck and neck at the final exchange. While Laxsom led pack for most of the last lap, Andrews "kicked" it into high gear with 150m to go. The 7:12.15 time shatters Virginia's 30-year record of 7:14.59, set in 1981, and stands as the top NCAA time this season.

"We have tremendous faith in each other," sophomore Brett Johnson, who ran the first leg, said. "It was an amazing feeling to win."

"As soon as Robby gets the stick, it's over. It's amazing what this kid can do. If we were unsure about his kick, by this point we should be sure. As a teammate, I have the most confidence in him."

"There's no other meet in the country or even in the world that is so exciting," coach Jason Vigilante said following the meet. "We got the best out of ourselves today because of the teams that pushed us this far. I feel very proud to coach these guys."

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