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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia cross country teams host the Lou Onesty Invitational to open the 2009 season Saturday, Sept. 19, at Panorama Farms. The men’s 8K race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., and the women’s 5K race will follow at 10:45 a.m.

Virginia’s men’s team earned a No. 14 national ranking by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), collecting 204 points in the preseason poll. The Cavaliers, coming off their second-consecutive ACC Championship, return four athletes from last year’s squad – including the program’s first-ever two-time cross country All-American Emil Heineking. Virginia wrapped up last season finishing runner-up at the Southeast Region Championships and 14th at NCAAs.

The Cavalier women collected 137 points in the USTFCCA poll to earn a preseason ranking of No. 18. Virginia won its first-ever Southeast Region Championship and finished 26th at NCAAs a year ago. This season, the Cavaliers return six competitors to the lineup, including all-region performers Lauretta Dezubay, Stephanie Garcia and Morgane Gay.

Washington was picked to win the women’s title, gathering 360 points in the USTFCCCA poll. Oregon was picked to finish second, coming in with 344 points and conference foe Florida State was third with 331 points. Oregon claimed the top spot on the men’s side with 357 points. Oklahoma State was picked to finish second, while Stanford was third. Virginia is the highest-ranked Atlantic Coast Conference men’s team.

Up next for Virginia will be the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 3.

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