Hokie sprinters becoming emerging strength for Tech track and field

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — With the ACC indoor track and field championships approaching at the end of the month, Virginia Tech hopes that the school’s sprinters can deliver success.

“I feel like I’m on the verge of hitting my peak,” sophomore Cole Beck said.

Back and better than ever, the Blacksburg-native is clocking fast times down the 60-meter straightaway, just months removed from suffering an injury on the football field.

At the Hokie Invitational on January 24, Beck ran a 6.65 in the event, the third fastest time in Virginia Tech history.

“I knew I was going to be back for indoors. I just didn’t know how well and in shape I was going to be able to perform at a high level,” Beck said. “Especially after two weeks ago, that really boosted my confidence to know where I can start performing at a higher level with these top guys.”

Beck isn’t the only sprinter turning heads on the track. Jacory Patterson is also rewriting history, breaking the collegiate record in the 300 meters last month. That mark comes a year after breaking the under-20 world indoor record in the same event.

“I’ve definitely grown mentally since last year,” Patterson said. “Last year I went through a lot of things like trials and tribulations and I’ve definitely gotten a lot more faith. I’ve grown closer with God and since I did that, everything else just comes easy.”

On the women’s side, Caitlan Tate leads the Hokies’ charge, holding school records in both the 200 and 300 meters. The junior from Atlanta says she’s more focused than ever before.

“I stopped looking at what everyone else does and just stopped being intimidated by their success and focus on what I want to do,” Tate said. “I have a lot of talent that I didn’t even know I had but it’s kind of motivated me to do better.”

Tech’s success at sprinting is putting the Hokies on the fast track toward becoming a powerhouse in the sport.

“I’m really excited for our future,” Patterson said. “I can’t wait to see what we have in store.”

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