Five athletes to don orange and blueVirginia head track and field coach Randy Bungard has announced that five athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and will look to compete for the Virginia track and field program as part of the Class of 2009. The five combined have won numerous state championships and look to help continue the solid tradition of the Cavalier track and field program.
Andrew Biladeau (Jesuit HS/Tampa, Fla.) is a 2004 Footlocker Finalist in cross country after coming in fourth in the South Regional race. He was the 2004 Florida state champion in the 1600m run and is also the 2003 Florida state cross country champion (Class AA). He has personal bests of 3:56.38 in the 1500m and 9:05 in the 3200m. \"Andy is a young man that will come in and compete for a spot in our top five in cross country as a first year,\" said Bungard. \"A Foot Locker finalist, his ability will show itself immediately. He is very excited about being a Cavalier and is ready to be here now.\"
Amy Bilmanis (Thomas Stone HS/Hughesville, Md.) won the national title in the discus at the 2004 adidas National Outdoor High School Championship. A three-time Maryland state champion, Bilmanis is the state record holder in the discus with a personal best of 153\'6\". Her brother Tim was a thrower for UVa from 2000-2003. \"Amy will be a major player from the minute she gets on grounds,\" said Bungard. \"She was a perfect fit for our team and the University. Her brother, Tim, threw for us, and she knows the ACC and she is a very strong competitor.\"
Lauretta Dezubay (Freedom HS/Bethlehem, Pa.) is a two-time state champion, having won the 3200m in 2004 a year after taking the Class AAA title in the 1600m run. She holds personal bests of 4:56.08 in the 1600m and 10:34.13 in the 3200m. Dezubay is ranked as the #4 returning senior in the nation in the 3200m run. \"Lauretta is the top distance runner in Pennsylvania, a strong distance state,\" said Bungard. \"She will be able to step in as a first year and make an impact in cross country right away. In the spring, Lauretta will continue to add depth in the distance events on the track as she is a strong performer there as well.\"
Lauren Echko (Hudson HS/Hudson, Ohio) finished third at the Ohio state meet in the high hurdles in both 2003 and 2004 with a personal best record of 14.34. A school record holder in the 100m, 100HH, and the 4x100m, Echko earned All-State honors in both 2003 and 2004. Bungard said, \"Lauren will help us a great deal in the hurdles. We are pretty deep in that area and she will contribute immediately. She has a great deal of room for improvement at the college level.\"
Robert Rankin (Upper St. Clair HS/Pittsburgh, Pa.) is the # 4 returning senior in the nation in the shot put with his 61\'7.25\". At the 2004 adidas National Outdoor High School Championship, Rankin finished in fourth place in the shot put competition. He was also the 2004 Pennsylvania state champion in the shot put (class AAA). \"Rob will help begin the rebuilding of our throws program,\" said Bungard. \"We are committed to that area and Rob will join Walker Anderson to add some punch to our throws. He is a very strong young man who will flourish under the tutelage of Coach Carrie Lane.\"
\"Overall, this class is making strong contributions to many areas in the program,\" said Bungard. \"All of our signees will be able to come in and contribute as first years. We are excited to have every one of them.\"