Nov. 15, 2013
EARLYSVILLE, Va. - The Virginia men's and women's cross country teams qualified for next week's NCAA Cross Country Championships with strong performances Friday at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships at Panorama Farms. The Cavalier women won their fourth Southeast Region championship in the past six years, while Virginia finished second in the men's race.
It marks the sixth time both the Virginia men and women qualified for the NCAA Championships in the same season. The Cavaliers also accomplished the feat in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It is the first time since 2008 that both teams qualified automatically.
The 11th-ranked Cavalier women, who entered the meet as the top-ranked team in the region, took the crown with 57 points. William & Mary was second with 69 points to also automatically qualify for the national meet.
Six Cavaliers took home all-region honors with top-25 finishes in the 6k women's race. Senior Barbara Strehler (Richmond, Va.) placed third in a time of 20:08.7. First-years Maria Hauger (Shakopee, Minn.) and Sarah Fakler (Phoenix, Ariz.) followed in ninth and 11th places, respectively. Sophomore Cleo Boyd (Kingston, Ont.) was 14th and junior Kathleen Stevens (Blacksburg, Va.) was 20th to round out the scoring five, while first-year Sara Sargent (Philadelphia, Pa.) was 22nd to also earn all-region honors.
"You want one of those automatic spots at the regional meet," said women's cross country coach Todd Morgan. "To win at home, it's exciting. William & Mary ran a strong meet, and we knew they would. It was great to see us regroup (after ACCs) and be ready for this. Now we'll rest up and be ready for Terre Haute."
The Cavalier men placed second with 96 points to also qualify for the NCAA Championships. Eastern Kentucky, ranked No. 17 nationally, took the title with 58 points.
The Virginia men were led by three all-region performers, who placed in the top 25 of the 10k race. Sophomore Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) was the top Cavalier finisher, crossing in 28:53.7 for fifth place. Senior Thomas Porter (Fredericksburg, Va.) was ninth and redshirt-freshman Zach Herriott (Kansas City, Mo.) was 18th. Redshirt-freshman Adam Visokay (Ruckersville, Va.) and junior Drew Paisley (Virginia Beach, Va.) were 32nd and 34th to round out the scoring five.
"Today was a pass/fail for the whole year, and the boys came out and nailed it," said men's cross country coach Pete Watson. "It's a big stress off of everybody's shoulders because we knew we were really good and just hadn't clicked all together on one day. Today, the boys came out and it all clicked. Every single one of my guys was great. I'm thrilled."
The NCAA Championships will be held Nov. 23 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
Women's Top Five Teams
1. Virginia (57)
2. William & Mary (69)
3. NC State (142)
4. Duke (143)
5. Virginia Tech (157)
Men's Top Five Teams
1. Eastern Kentucky (58)
2. Virginia (96)
3. NC State (101)
4. North Carolina (137)
5. Virginia Tech (167)
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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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