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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Virginia freshman Emil Heineking placed third at the 2008 USA Cross Country Championships at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, Calif., on Saturday afternoon to earn a spot on the 2008 USA Team. The top six finishers of today’s championships qualified to represent the US on the national team, which is set to compete at the 36th IAAF World Cross Country Championships at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 30.

Heineking placed third in the 8k in a time of 24:34, just 16 seconds behind German Fernandez, the 2008 Junior Men’s champion. Iona College’s Ryan Sheridan finished second in the event, just one second behind Fernandez, while NC State’s Bobby Moldovan finished fourth with a time of 24:38. Kevin Williams and Benjamin Johnson, both racing unattached, rounded out the top six with times of 24:39 and 24:41, respectively. These top six finishers will represent the United States in Scotland in March.

The Cavalier rookie had a standout season for Virginia, being named an All-American and the ACC Freshman of the Year.

Virginia freshman Ryan Collins also raced in the event, placing 16th out of 100 finishers in a time of 25:27.

For more information on the world championships, visit

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