Canadian rising sophomore Robert Heppenstall's fifth-place finish in the 800m highlighted a week in which three Deacs saw competition on the top junior international stage.
July 25, 2016
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeTrack)
BYDGOSZCZ, Poland – Three Wake Forest track and field student-athletes competed in the IAAF World U20 Championships at Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland last week.
Rising sophomore Robert Heppenstall placed fifth for Canada in the men’s 800m, while incoming freshmen Ággelos Vasilíou and Jessica Molina competed for Greece and Ecuador, respectively. Vasilíou came in eighth in his 14-athlete men’s 1,500m heat, while Molina had the same standing in her women’s shot put qualifying group.
Additionally, Wake Forest’s David Chandler was an athletic trainer for the United States at the meet.
Heppenstall, coming off a freshman season in which he was an ACC champion and All-American in the 800m both indoors and outdoors, finished third in his initial heat with a time of 1:48.69 to qualify for the semifinals. By clocking in at 1:47.13 in the semifinal round, he placed third in his heat once again to reach the final. In the final race, the Hamilton, Ont. native used a time of 1:47.13 for a fifth-place showing.
“Robert has had a fantastic freshman campaign,” said Demon Deacon assistant coach Brad Hunt. “In the history of the program, it is difficult to find another Wake Forest track and field student-athlete to compare his accomplishments to in year one. We are so proud of him for the way he carries himself inside and outside the athletic arena, as he has excelled in the classroom while achieving at unparalleled heights on the oval.”
Heppenstall’s top indoor time of 1:47.35 broke the Wake Forest, ACC Championship meet and Canadian junior records and his best outdoor time of 1:46.92 was good enough to win the event in a loaded field at the Virginia Challenge. He became the program’s first All-American in the 800m since Warren Sherman in 1995 and qualified for every championship final in the event both indoors and outdoors.
“Robert fits the mission of Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Athletics,” Hunt added. “We are very proud he is a Demon Deacon.”
Vasilíou and Molina are set to make their Demon Deacon debuts in the upcoming season. Molina, who attended Westwood High School in New Jersey, has a dual citizenship in both Ecuador and the United States and broke the Ecuadorian junior record.