Charlottesville native and former Albemarle High School star Anthony Kostelac helped the University of Virginia defend its championship in the 4x800 meter run at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
The quartet of Kostelac, Brett Johnson, Lance Roller, and Robbie Andrews posted a time of 7:12.15 in the event, edging Penn State's team by less than a second.
Andrews, an All-American, earned the College Men's Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events.
It's the second best time in the 117-year history of the Penn Relays and shattered the 30-year-old UVa school record. It's also the top time in the NCAA this season (third fastest of all-time) and the seventh fastest 4x800m relay in United States track and field history.
Kostelac says, "It always feels good to win, but especially so at Penn Relays. It's a great crowd, one of the biggest that any runner is probably going to run with."
Johnson says, "To win a Penn Relays one year, that's something that you dream about as a kid, especially going to the Penn Relays in high school, it's something I dream about, to be up on that podium. It's a very rare opportunity in the sport of track and field, because usually it's individual stuff. So when you're with four guys, and you're all on the same day, it's just an amazing feeling."
Roller says, "It's awesome. First of all, it's hard to win one Penn Relays title, so to come back and win back-to-back, it's a really special thing. It's a great confidence builder. Once you win Penn Relays, everybody split well, when you go into the next meet, you know, 'I've ran this, I've won Penn Relays. I know I can do anything.'"
Andrews says, "It never gets old. Just like going to the Penn Relays never gets old, running races like that never gets old to me. It's really exciting. We just really relied on each other and had a lot of faith in one another, and we're a really good unit."
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.