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Virginia’s Emil Heineking, a first-year who helped Virginia to a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, has been named an All-American by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches’ Association, the organization announced today. Heineking becomes the first All-American on the men’s side since Bobby Thiele earned the honor in 1999, and he is the fifth All-American in Virginia men’s cross country history.

The Chardon, Ohio native scored in each of Virginia’s final five meets, including NCAAs where he finished second on the team overall. The 2007 ACC Freshman of the Year, Heineking finished fourth at the ACC meet in Charlottesville to pace the Cavaliers to their second team title in three years. Heineking and the Cavaliers were ranked as high as ninth nationally in 2007, the highest ranking since Virginia finished fifth as a team in 1984.

Heineking led the Cavaliers at the NCAA Southeast Regional, helping Virginia to a fourth-place finish at an at-large berth to the NCAA championships. The first rookie to cross the line at the regional meet, Heineking finished among the top three Virginia runners in each race he ran.

“Emil had an outstanding first-year campaign for us in cross country,” said head coach Jason Dunn. “He is clearly one of the top freshman in the country and we are thrilled with the extent to which he was able to contribute to our team’s success this season. While his races at ACC’s and nationals were very impressive, the consistency he showed throughout the season may be even more noteworthy. He is a very talented and level-headed young man, and it is just great to see him earn All-America honors so early in his career.”

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