Sept. 26, 2015
EARLYSVILLE, Va.--The Virginia men's and women's cross country teams both took home team crowns Saturday morning (Sept. 26) at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational. It is the second-consecutive year the Cavalier squads have swept the team titles.
In addition to the team titles, graduate student Iona Lake (Norwich, England) claimed the women's Division I 5K race. She is the second-straight Virginia woman to win the individual title, as Sarah Falker won the 2014 race.
UVa's women, ranked No. 16 in the nation, claimed the team title with 30 points, followed by Mississippi State (83), Auburn (106) and Yale (134). The No. 9 Cavalier men won with 41 points, ahead of Oklahoma (58), No. 18 Furman (88) and Yale (130).
The Virginia women had three of the top-five finishers in the Division I 5K, including Lake, who won the race by 10 seconds in 16:49.5. Junior Cleo Boyd (Kingston, Ontario) finished second overall in 16:59.5, while sophomore Megan Rebholz (Stafford, Va.) placed fifth in 17:04.3. Graduate student Sarah Astin (Isle of Man, Great Britain) and freshman Emily Mulhern (Ijamsville, Md.) rounded out the scoring five for the Cavaliers, crossing the line ninth (17:16.0) and 13th (17:29.1), respectively.
"The team has been training really well and looking great in practice, but until you put the uniform on and go, you don't know what to expect," UVa women's head cross country coach Todd Morgan said. "It was great to see the group work hard together. We have some spots we can work on, but overall it was really positive."
"Going in I didn't know what to expect, but I really wanted to win and I was going to give it my best shot," Lake said. "Once I got through 3K and felt good, that's when I kicked (into another gear). The entire team did so well and I was really happy for Cleo (Boyd), who came in second. It is not all about fitness; it is a mental game as well and this will give us confidence as we go into ACCs, regionals and NCAAs."
In the men's Division I 8K race, the Cavalier men had eight entries in the top 17 overall spots, led by junior Henry Wynne (Westport, Conn.), who finished fifth in 24.02.2. Sophomore Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.) crossed the line next in sixth (24.04.6), while sophomore Trevor Hopper (Ridgefield, Conn.), junior Zach Herriott (Kansas City, Mo.) and junior Thomas Madden (Front Royal, Va.) rounded out the scoring five in 8th (24:09.3), 10th (24:14.9) and 12th (24:16.9), respectively. Erik Peterson of Butler claimed the individual title in 23:45.9.
"It's good to start out with a win obviously, but as a pack the guys ran really well today," UVa men's head cross country coach Pete Watson said. "That is probably the best pack-run race we have had in the four years I've been here. First through eighth (in our lineup), everyone was so close and that order is going to change as the year goes on. Having a lot of depth is what great teams have and it allows us to do things that we have not been able to do in the past."
"We have been putting a lot of work in since the summer and it was nice to come out, have a good effort and have a big pack up front to win the race, "Wynne said. "In training, we have been finishing up big workouts in a pack so we were thinking if we get a good group up front, we can use each other and do well on the day. We were confident from our workouts and training, but now to come out here and face some good teams and do well, our confidence is just going to roll on to Wisconsin and the championship season."
The Cavaliers return to action Oct. 16, when they compete in the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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