The 2004-05 academic year, Virginia Tech's first in the Atlantic Coast Conference, is in the books--and it's one the university won't soon forget. The football team won the ACC championship and represented the league in the Sugar Bowl; several teams competed in the NCAA tournament in their respective sports; and the women's soccer, swimming and diving, and lacrosse teams each boasted the ACC freshman of the year.
But it was a thrower on the men's track and field team who outdistanced them all and brought to Virginia Tech what no other Hokie has before--a national championship. Make that two.
At the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in March, junior Spyridon Jullien claimed the national title in the 35-pound weight throw with a toss of 23.18 meters (nearly 77 feet), a solid four feet farther than his competitors'.
Three months later at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Jullien won the hammer throw with a toss of 70.43 meters (just beyond 231 feet), putting the final touches on a record-breaking season during which he dominated the top spot on the Division I performance list.
A native of Athens, Greece, Jullien has come a long way--both geographically and athletically--since being recruited. Under the tutelage of Greg Jack, associate head track and field coach for throws, Jullien has increased his weight throw by nearly five meters and his hammer throw by more than five meters during his three years at Tech.