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Sept. 6, 2001

The Virginia cross country teams open up their 2001 season this Saturday with the first of their two home meets, the Lou Onesty Invitational. The Cavaliers, whose men’s and women’s squads just missed invitations to the national championships last year, are determined to advance to the championships this year in Greenville, SC.

The men, who just missed qualifying by three points in 2000, return five of the top seven from last year, including All-ACC performers Justin Wood and Matt Ruhl. Virginia’s third-place finish in 2000 at the ACC meet was their best finish since 1984, the last time the Cavaliers took a team to the NCAA meet. Last year the men won the Lou Onesty Invitational and will look to use this meet as a springboard to even greater success this seasoon.

The women, who took fifth at ACC’s and fifth at the regional meet in 2000, were ranked #25 last year, the first time in six years that the women have been ranked nationally. Incidentally, that year (1995) the Cavaliers were not invited to the NCAA championships. The last trip for them was in 1994.

The women return six of the top seven from last year, and last year’s only non-returner, Dana Coons (graduation), remains with the team as an assistant coach. The Cavaliers also welcome back Jennifer Owens, an All-American from 1999, who is back training with the team. Sarah Folse, an All-ACC perfomer from last season, is also back for the Hoos and looks to lead a core of veterans back to the top-three in the ACC and also in the region.

This season is a special one in Cavalier history as it is the 20th anniversary of the NCAA cross country title won by the Virginia program. In 1981, the Cavaliers placed five in the top 19 to score an incredible 36, a record that still stands today. In 1982 the Cavaliers repeated with a score of 48, which stands as the second-lowest score in NCAA history.

The races this weekend start at 10 (men) and continue with the women at 10:45. This season the Cavaliers open a new course, Panorama Farms, thanks to the generosity of a local landowner. Directions to the new course are as follows:

From the WestTake I-64 to exit 118B (Rt. 29 North). Proceed north on Rt. 29 / Rt. 250 Bypass several miles. Take exit for Rt. 29 North towards Washington and proceed on 29N for .25 mile. Turn left at Hydraulic Rd., and proceed West for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Earlysville Rd. and proceed for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Panorama Rd. and proceed for .75 mile. Panorama Rd. will then turn into the driveway for Panorama Farms. Continue along the driveway and follow signs for parking.

From the EastTake I-64 to exit 124 (Rt. 250) north towards Charlottesville. Proceed 4.2 miles on Rt. 250. Turn right on Hydraulic Rd. and proceed for 2.1 miles. Turn left on Earlysville Rd. and proceed for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Panorama Rd. and proceed for .75 mile. Panorama Rd. will then turn into the driveway for Panorama Farms. Continue along the driveway and follow signs for parking.

From the SouthFollow Rt. 29 North into Charlottesville. At the junction of Rt. 29 & I-64, Rt. 29 becomes Rt. 29 / Rt. 250 bypass. Proceed on the bypass for several miles and follow the exit for Rt. 29 North towards Washington. Proceed on 29N for .25 mile. Turn left at Hydraulic Rd., and proceed West for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Earlysville Rd. and proceed for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Panorama Rd. and proceed for .75 mile. Panorama Rd. will then turn into the driveway for Panorama Farms. Continue along the driveway and follow signs for parking.

From the NorthFollow Rt. 29 South towards Charlottesville. Approximately 10 miles north of Charlottesville, look for signs to the airport. Follow signs for Earlysville and the airport and turn right on Airport Rd. Proceed approximately 1 mile on Airport Rd. until stop sign. Turn Left onto Dickerson Rd. and proceed approximately 1 mile to Earlysville Rd. Turn left on Earlysville Rd. towards Charlottesville and proceed 1.5 miles to Panorama Rd. Turn right on Panorama Rd. and proceed for .75 mile. Panorama Rd. will then turn into the driveway for Panorama Farms. Continue along the driveway and follow signs for parking.

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