Nov. 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Virginia cross country teams concluded the 2013 season with strong performances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. The Cavalier women had their first top-10 finish in 12 years, placing ninth, while the men finished in 13th place for their best finish in six years.
The Virginia women finished ninth, their best finish since placing ninth at the 2001 meet. It is the fourth top-10 finish in school history.
Senior Barbara Strehler (Richmond, Va.) earned All-American honors with a 24th-place showing, crossing the line in 20:35.3. It marked the third-consecutive year that Virginia has had a women's cross country All-American.
"It was really cold and unbelievably muddy," said Strehler. "You could feel the tension at the start of the race and that helped keep you a little bit warm, but by the end of the race, you could barely feel your face. It has always been a goal of mine to be an All-American, so it is a great way to conclude my career. For our team to finish in the top 10, that makes it even better."
First-year Maria Hauger (Shakopee, Minn.) was the next Cavalier to finish, coming across in 63rd place. Junior Kathleen Stevens (Blacksburg, Va.) was 74th, sophomore Cleo Boyd (Kingston, Ont.) was 100th and senior Vicky Fouhy (Buckinghamshire, England) was 130th to round out the scoring five.
"It is a great ending to an incredible season," said women's cross country coach Todd Morgan. "To go from eighth in the region last year to ninth in the nation this year is phenomenal. It is a great statement of what this group has done all year. In my 10 years of coaching, these were the worst conditions for an NCAA meet I have ever seen. You had to stay tough to have a good result and our team did that today."
The Cavalier men finished in 13th place, their highest finish since a 12th-place performance in 2007. It was a one-place improvement from last season when Virginia finished 14th at the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) led the Cavaliers, crossing the line in 18th place in a time of 30:27.3 to earn All-American honors. It was the highest individual finish in program history, surpassing the 19th place finish by Timothy Springfield in 1984. He is the fifth Cavalier men's cross country All-American in the past six years.
"It was cold and muddy out there, but I got off to a good start," said King. "I tried not to get caught up in all the slosh in the middle of the pack. The conditions were tough, but it was the same for everyone out there. I think we performed as a team the best we have all season."
Following King for Virginia was senior Thomas Porter (Fredericksburg, Va.), who concluded his collegiate cross country career with a 63rd-place finish. Three first-years rounded out the Cavalier scoring five with redshirt-freshmen Zach Herriott (Kansas City, Mo.) and Adam Visokay (Ruckersville, Va.) placing 93rd and 123rd, respectively, and true-freshman Thomas Madden (Front Royal, Va.) crossing in 157th place.
"It was a very solid day for our team," said men's cross country coach Pete Watson. "We came in with a goal of top 15. Kyle King ran a great race to finish 18th. There were tough conditions, but the guys didn't let it affect them. They went out and took care of business. Our guys were mentally prepared for it. We looked it as it is fun to go run in the mud."
The NCAA Team Championships were won the by the Colorado men and the Providence women.
Women's Top Five Teams
1. Providence 141
2. Arizona 197
3. Bulter 200
4. Michigan 215
5. Georgetown 226
9. Virginia 283
Men's Top Five Teams
1. Colorado 149
2. Northern Arizona 169
3. Oklahoma State 230
4. BYU 267
5. Oregon 274
13. Virginia 370
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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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