Essence Henderson was named the Virginia Sports Information Directors’ (VaSID) All-State Women’s Field Athlete of the year last week, as she and five other Hokies earned all-state honors.
Joining Henderson on the all-state teams are Eszter Bajnok, Rachel Baxter, Sara Killinen, Lauren Berman, and Lindsey Butler. VaSID honors are voted on by sports information directors in the state of Virginia. VaSID names 44 all-state teams in 23 sports each year, as well as an academic all-state squad and an all-sports champion in both the university and college divisions.
Henderson delivered a sensational season to earn Field Athlete of the Year. At the ACC Championships, she took the shot-put title with a school record throw of 17.23m (56′ 6.5″), the third time she had broken the Hokies’ record this year. In the discus, Henderson broke the Virginia Tech record six times on her way to a berth at the NCAA Championships. There the sophomore finished seventh with yet another school record throw of 57.72m (189′ 4″). Henderson competed at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in both the discus and shot, finishing 16th and 17th respectively.
Eszter Bajnok earned first-team honors by excelling in both horizontal jumps this season. The grad student finished third at the ACC Championships in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump and set a new school record in the long jump with a leap of 6.52m (21′ 4.75″) earlier this year at the Torrin Lawrence Memorial. At the NCAA East Prelims, Bajnok finished seventh to advance in the triple jump before taking 12th place and second-team All-American honors at the NCAA Championships.
Rachel Baxter continued her strong vaulting outdoors to earn a spot on the VaSID first team. Baxter posted a season’s best mark of 4.40m (14′ 5.25″) at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, finishing 14th. At the ACC Championships, Baxter finished third to take first-team All-ACC honors, earning a trip to the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Sara Killinen’s first outdoor season was as impressive as her indoor season and saw her selected to the VaSID first team. Finishing in second place in the hammer at the ACC Championships with a throw of 64.92m (213′ 0″), Killinen moved into fourth all-time in the Hokies’ record book. At the NCAA East Prelims, Killinen finished 14th, just two places away from a trip to Eugene.
Lauren Berman earned second-team all-state honors after a stellar 1500m season. The grad student finished with a time of 4:10.82 at the ACC Championships for second all-time at Virginia Tech. Berman finished fifth at the conference meet and advanced past the NCAA East Prelims to compete at the NCAA Championships. There Berman competed as one of the nation’s best, finishing 11th to earn second-team All-American honors.
Lindsey Butler followed an exceptional indoor campaign with an equally impressive outdoor season in the 800m, earning a spot on the all-state second team. Butler ran a personal best and Olympic-qualifying mark of 2:01.32 at the ACC Championships to secure a second-place finish. At the NCAA Championships, Butler finished sixth to earn first-team All-American honors.