The Virginia cross country team will host the ACC Championships for the second consecutive year when the Cavaliers welcome their conference rivals to Panorama Farms on Saturday, Oct. 27 for the 2007 meet. The men’s team is ranked 11th nationally and is the second-highest ranked ACC team, behind N. C. State. The women have been led by All-American Emily Harrison, who won the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational and has been named the ACC Runner of the Week twice this season.
The Virginia men, ranked 11th nationally, are led by All-American Jan Foerster, who finished third last year for his second consecutive All-ACC honor. At the NCAA Championships in 2006, Foerster finished 32nd overall and missed All-American honors by 1.5 seconds. Andy Biladeau, who was the Cavaliers’ first runner at the Pre-nationals meet where Virginia upset ten teams en route to a fourth-place finish, also earned All-ACC honors last year. Earlier this season he won the Lou Onesty Invitational run at Panorama Farms to lead the Cavalier men. Taylor Smith was Virginia’s fourth runner in 2006 and Andrew Jesien finished fifth, giving the Hoos four of their top five back from the third-place team of 2006. Joining the squad is ACC Champion Ryan Foster and rookie Emil Heineking, who finished just behind Biladeau at the Pre-Nationals meet two weeks ago.
Harrison has had an incredible fall, winning her first two meets before finishing fourth at the Pre-Nationals meet two weeks ago. Running without All-Americans Kara Scanlin and Katie Read, the Cavaliers have received strong performances from US Junior National Champion Stephanie Garcia and local harrier Samantha Stafford, both of whom have run in the top-seven all season long. Veterans Susan Brooks and Sara Casscells have also been in the top-seven and have added quality depth for the Hoos.
The Cavalier women will face four ranked teams, including No. 3 Florida State. N. C. State (23rd), Virginia Tech (25th), and Boston College (28th) will also compete in the race. On the men’s side. North Carolina State (7th) just edges the Cavaliers (11th), while Florida State also received votes in the latest poll.
The ACC men’s 8K race will begin at 10 a.m. while the women’s 6K race will begin at 11 a.m.