The Cavalier cross country teams will travel to Indiana this Saturday (Oct. 13) to compete in the Pre-Nationals meet at Indiana State, the site of the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The meet will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Sports Center with the men’s race beginning at 11 a.m. and the women’s race beginning at 12:20 p.m.
The men, ranked 29th in the national poll, are looking to improve upon last year’s 12th place finish in the 8K race. In 2006, Jan Foerster led the men’s team, placing 10th in the race with a time of 23:45. Andrew Dumm and Andy Biladeau placed 35th and 61st, with times of 24:14 and 24:33, respectively. Andrew Jesien, Taylor Smith, and Kevin McHale also ran in the meet last year. The men face difficult competition this weekend as 12 of the teams they are competing against are ranked nationally, including No.2 Wisconsin, No.4 Iona, No.6 Oklahoma State, and No.8 Alabama. The Cavaliers will also be running against ACC rivals Clemson and 25th ranked Florida State as well as Southeast regional competitors No.17 Louisville and Morehead State.
The women’s team, though not nationally ranked, has the most votes in the receiving category. In the 6K race they too face difficult competition. The Cavaliers are set to take on 12 nationally ranked schools, including top-ranked Stanford, fourth ranked Minnesota, No.7 Rice, and No.9 Michigan State. In the ACC, Virginia will be competing against nationally ranked Boston College (16), NC State (26), and Florida State (11) as well as UNC and Georgia Tech. In 2006, the women’s team placed 11th, with Emily Harrison leading the Cavaliers with a 20th place finish with a time of 20:40. All-American Kara Scanlin was right behind Harrison with a 23rd place finish and a time of 20:47. Katie Read finished the race in 67th, with a time of 21:20. Laura Hodges, Janine Ricci, Lauretta Dezubay, and Sara Cascells also ran for the Cavaliers in the 2006 meet.
Last time out, the men finished fifth at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational, running without All-American Jan Foerster. The women finished sixth in the same meet despite not having the services of All-Americans Kara Scanlin and Katie Read. Emily Harrison won the meet with a time of 20:52, making her the first Cavalier to win in the meet’s history.
Virginia will return home to host the 2007 ACC Cross Country Championships at Panorama Farms on Saturday, October 27. The men’s 8K race starts at 10 a.m. and the women’s 6K race starts at 11 a.m.