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Year in Review: 2011 Virginia Track and Field

Track and field is undoubtedly a tough sport for casual fans to follow, and thus for casual bloggers to write about.  The teams are large, the events are diverse, events are long, and strategy is lost on non die-hards.  

Thus, the fact that a moment like the one Robby Andrews had in his NCAA Championship-winning 800m race broke through these barriers makes it all the more impressive.  It wasn't just a great race won, but one of the great comebacks in recent UVA sports memory.  If you haven't seen the race, do yourself a favor and watch the video here - Andrews goes from last to first to take the title for the Hoos.  

Andrews was the face of a successful season, but not its only ingredient.  Nine All-Americans, 9 All-ACC Performers, and 2 ACC Champs were Cavaliers.   The strong finish meant the team finished the season ranked in the final NCAA top 25, after not appearing all season.  Anthony Kostelac was named both Indoor and Outdoor Men's ACC Track and Field Freshman of the Year.

The successful finish bodes well for the future of Virginia track.  Not only are champions like Andrews returning next year...but they'll be excited to race on some new digs, as a much needed facilities renovation is underway.  The project will include expanded seating, lights, a scoreboard, and locker rooms.  Not only should we expect a recruiting boost (as if high-schoolers needed another reason to pick UVA...), but also hope for an expansion of fan interest, especially ahead of the 2012 ACC Championships.  I don't think it's too bold to look out for this program to be the next to bump itself up among its sport's elite.