Virginia Track & Field Signs Four Student-Athletes

BLACKSBURG, VA -- Virginia Tech director of track and field Dave Cianelli has announced the first members of his 2004 recruiting class with the signing of four student-athletes during the early signing period.

"We're excited to have these four student-athletes sign with Virginia Tech. All four will have an immediate impact at the conference level and on the national stage as our program moves into the Atlantic Coast Conference," Cianelli said.

The incoming recruits include three state champions in Natalie Sherbak, Tamara Burns and Britni Spruill, as well as Sven Hahn, the German under-23 National Champion in the shot put.

Natalie Sherbak, a Virginia Beach, Va., native is fresh off of successful cross country season in which she was the AAA State Champion. Prior to winning the state title, Sherbak also took top-honors in the East Region and Beach District Championships for Kellam High School during the 2003 season. Last track season, she was part of Kellam's indoor state champion 4x800-meter relay team and the 4x800 team that was the state runner-up during the outdoor season. Sherbak was also fifth in the state in the indoor 1,000 meters.

Joining Sherbak is another Hampton Roads area product in Britni Spruill. The Hampton, Va., native was a member of Bethel High School's 2001 and 2003 outdoor state championship teams and was the Bruins' 2003 captain. Spruill was the 2003 AAA state runner-up in the 100 meters at the outdoor meet and the 2002 and 2003 AAA state runner-up in the indoor 300 meters as well as being one of the top-returning long jumpers in the state. Spruill is also fourth in her class with a 4.25 grade point average.

The women's signing class is bolstered with the addition of junior college transfer Tamara Burns from Cloud County Community College (Kan.). Burns, originally from Elm Creek, Neb., was the top-ranked junior college athlete in the weight throw last year with a mark of 63-0.75. While competing for Cloud County, Burns was a three-time junior college All-American, garnering the honor in the weight throw, outdoor shot put, and discus. Last season she finished third in the nation in the weight throw, shot put and discus. In high school, Burns competed for Elm Creek High School where she was a state champion in the shot put and discus. She broke the Nebraska class D state record five times in 2002 with a season-best of 46-11.75. That mark is the seventh best all-time throw in the state of Nebraska.

The men's squad will add Sven Hahn for the 2004-05 campaign. The Stuttgart, Germany, native will be transferring from the University of Stuttgart to compete for the Hokies. In 2002, Hahn was the German under-23 National Champion in the shot put, and finished eighth in the National Senior Championships in 2003. Hahn has recorded personal bests of 61-10.25 in the shot put and 180-6 in the discus. He has also won national titles at the under-18 and under-20 levels and finished first in the European under-19 Championships in the shot put in 1998.