Aug. 30, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—The 2012 Virginia men’s cross country team is primed to bounce back after finishing outside of the top-5 at the Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country Championships for the first time since 1997. The squad opens the season with the Virginia Tech Invitational at 6 p.m. Friday (Aug. 31) in Blacksburg, Va.
“We have big expectations, the goal is to win the ACC Championship, the goal is to be at the NCAA Championship contending for a top-15 spot,” Virginia head men’s cross country coach Pete Watson said. “Bringing back Mark (Amirault) for a sixth year, getting Zach (Gates) from William and Mary, who’s been top 10 in the region before, and putting redshirt freshman Kyle (King) in there, we have seven guys who can run 14:10 or better in the 5K and that’s competitive with anybody in the country.”
The Cavalier men return four of their top five from a year ago, including graduate student Mark Amirault (Walpole, Mass.), who finished 27th at the NCAA Championships, earning All-America honors. Also returning are fifth-year senior Sean Keveren (Brentwood, Tenn.) who placed 18th in the 10,000 meters at the national outdoor track and field meet, junior Chris Foley (Chantilly, Va.), who earned silver in the 5,000 meters at the ACC indoor meet, and sophomore Drew Paisley (Virginia Beach, Va.), who set personal records in three events during the outdoor season.
Amirault, Foley and junior Thomas Porter (Fredericksburg, Va.) went 1-2-3 in the 5,000 meters at the ACC Indoor Championships, the first step to bring the men’s distance group back to prominence.
Virginia will also be boosted by redshirt freshman Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.), who did not compete during the cross country season but represented the United States at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in the 5,000 meters, placing 13th.
With Amirault, Keveren and graduate transfer Zach Gates (Fishers, Ind.) from William and Mary, the Cavaliers have a great deal of leadership. Gates has NCAA Championship experience and was the Colonial Athletic Association champion in 2010.
“I think it’s really important to have these three,” Watson said. “Bringing in Zach Gates, who was on the team two years ago at William and Mary that was fifth in the country, he has the experience and knows what it takes to be successful. We bring back Mark (Amirault), who was a top-30 cross country runner last year, that’s huge. And we bring back Sean (Keveren), who came back to life during the outdoor track season, making the NCAAs at 10,000 meters and vying for individual titles in the 5K and 10K at ACCs.
“We have three very solid leaders. I think their leadership, especially Mark and Sean, has shown through with the development of Chris Foley and Kyle King and other young guys on the team who latched on, followed them and made huge steps forward.”
The Cavaliers also see the arrival of three high school state champions - freshmen Mike Marsella (Hope Valley, R.I.), Connor Rog (Fairfield, Conn.) and Adam Visokay (Ruckersville, Va.). Marsella was the Rhode Island and New England cross country champion and was named the Gatorade Rhode Island Boys’ Cross Country Runner of the Year, while Rog was a two-time Gatorade honoree for the state of Connecticut after winning the state championship. Visokay, who ran for nearby Albemarle High School, was the Virginia AAA state champion in the 3,200 meters in 2011 and 2012.
Following the Virginia Tech Invitational on Aug. 31, the Cavaliers will host the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Sept. 22., which will see teams from Oklahoma, Syracuse, Michigan, Arkansas and Kentucky in action. Three weeks later, Virginia will travel to Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 12, which will feature some of the top teams in the country.
The ACC Championships will be hosted by Virginia Tech on Oct. 27 in Blacksburg, before the Cavaliers host their second meet of the season, the Virginia/Panorama Farms Open on Nov. 3. Six days later, the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships will be contested in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 9, while Louisville, Ky., will host the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17.
Cavaliers' Reign Atop NCAA Tennis ContinuesMen's Tennis5/25/16With a 4-1 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night, top-seeded Virginia captured its second straight NCAA men's title and third in four seasons.Mihaljevic's Star Continues to RiseTrack & Field, Cross Country5/24/16In junior Filip Mihaljevic, Virginia's track & field team has one of the nation's elite shot putters and discus throwers.Power Surge Contributing to Cavaliers' SuccessBaseball5/21/16Timely home runs helped No. 8 Virginia win the first two games of its series with ACC rival Virginia Tech at Davenport Field.
Director of News Content
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.
UVA to Begin Action at NCAA East Preliminaries Thursday
Track & Field, Cross Country | 5/25/2016
The No. 6 Virginia men’s track and field team and Cavalier women open action at the NCAA...
Jeff White: Mihaljevic's Star Continues to Rise
Track & Field, Cross Country | 5/24/2016
In junior Filip Mihaljevic, a four-time first-team All-American, has one of the nation's elite...
Virginia Qualifies 26 For NCAA East Preliminaries
Track & Field, Cross Country | 5/19/2016
The No. 5 Virginia men’s track and field team and Cavalier women have qualified 26 student-...
No. 5 Virginia Men Place Third at ACC Championships
Track & Field, Cross Country | 5/15/2016
The No. 5 Virginia men’s track and field team finished action at the ACC Outdoor...
UVA Women Finish Fourth at ACC Championships
Track & Field, Cross Country | 5/15/2016
The Virginia women’s track and field team finished fourth at the ACC Outdoor Championships,...
No. 5 Virginia Men Second Heading into Final Day of ACCs
Track & Field, Cross Country | 5/14/2016
The No. 5 Virginia men’s track and field team is in second place after two days of the ACC ...
UVA Women in Second After Two Days of ACC Champs
Track & Field, Cross Country | 05/14/2016
The Virginia women’s track and field team sits in second place after the second day of the ...
Boyd Wins 10,000m on First Day of ACC Championships
Track & Field, Cross Country | 05/13/2016
Virginia junior Cleo Boyd won the 10,000 meters to highlight the UVA women’s track and...
- Online Stores