Collins Earns All-America Honors at NCAAs

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Redshirt junior Ryan Collins earned his first cross country All-America honor Monday afternoon at the 2010 NCAA Championships, held at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. Collins finished 32nd overall and led the Cavalier men to a 17th-place finish overall, while the women finished 21st.

"Coming in 21st in the country is a terrific finish for our women's team," head coach Jason Vigilante said. "I'm so proud of our young ladies and I'm certain we gave our best today. We have a young team and a lot to feel good about.

"On the men's side, we came into this meet unranked and to finish 17th is great. We have six returners for next year and today was the right step for our team."

Collins becomes the sixth cross country All-American at Virginia on the men's side, completing the course in 30:24.9, while teammate Emil Heineking was second for UVa, finishing 71st in 30:52.3. Heineking wraps up his cross country career as the program's first two-time All-American in the sport, the ninth conference athlete to win two ACC individual championships and just the second-ever Cavalier male to compete in four NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Redshirt sophomore Sean Keveren was third for Virginia, taking 82nd in 30:57.7, while sophomore Sintayehu Taye was 107th, completing the course in 31:16.2. Freshman Chris Foley rounded out the scoring Cavaliers, taking 172nd in 31:50.3.

The men's team and individual titles were identical to last year, with Liberty's Sam Chelanga winning his second-straight NCAA individual championship in 29:22.2. Stephen Sambu, from Arizona, finished runner-up in 29:26.5, while Oregon's Luke Puskedra was third with a time of 29:38.0.

Oklahoma State won the team title for the second-straight year with 73 points, while Florida State was runner-up with 193 points and Wisconsin was third with 223 points. The Cavaliers were the second ACC teams to finish, claiming 17th with 386 points, and were the top team from the Southeast Region.

On the women's side, junior Morgane Gay led the entire field through the opening mile with a 5:20 split, before relinquishing the lead to the large group. From there, Garcia took over the top spot for UVa and finished her final collegiate cross country race in 84th with a time of 21:13.8.

Sophomore Barbara Strehler was second for Virginia, crossing in 86th in 21:14.2, while Gay was 126th with a time of 21:32.2. Freshman Katherine Walker finished 132nd for the Cavaliers, earning a time of 21:36.3, and classmate Ariel Karabinus rounded out UVa's top-five in 182nd with a time of 22:06.2.

Villanova swept the national championships, as the individual crown went to Sheila Reid (20:06.9) and the Wildcats won the team title with 120 points. Georgetown's Emily Infeld was the second individual finisher, completing the course in 20:09.2, and Oregon's Jordan Hasay was third in 20:13.0. Florida State finished runner-up in a close team battle, earning 154 points, while Texas Tech edged Georgetown by two points for third, 165-167.

The Cavalier women earned 460 points to finish 21st overall.