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Welcome to the women’s cross country blog page. Members of Virginia’s cross country program will provide an inside look at Cavaliers’ training and progress through the championship portion of the schedule. First up will be the 2009 ACC Championships, to be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., on Saturday. The women will race at 10:30 a.m., following the men’s 9:30 a.m. race.

Friday, October 30 – Catherine White
‘Twas the night before ACCs, when all through the hotel
Not a runner was stirring, not even a mile;
The singlets were hung by the Gatorade with care,
In hopes that the victory soon would be there;
The runners were nestled all sung in our beds,
While visions of championship rings danced in our heads!

I’m sitting in the hotel with the team, the evening before the ACC Cross Country Championships. Today was an exciting day! It’s my first ACC Championship and I am ready to GO! We had a team breakfast this morning – cereal and eggs for me! We then went to the mall, had a coffee break and looked at the course. I have seen the course from playing soccer at the park in high school, but have never run there before. The surface was really good – a little hard – but that will be fun because it will be a fast race. There are a lot of points on the course that are back in the woods, where there won’t be that many people – just us and the course.

The girls and I are ready to roll. We have been thinking about the conference meet a lot this season and are excited to race.

Be sure to check back tomorrow morning for our results!

Wednesday, Oct. 28 – Stephanie Garcia
Growing up on the track in high school, all I wanted was to be a part of a team: being best friends with my teammates and spending time bonding, training and carefully crafting our success as one unit, together. I wanted to win races and reach my individual potential, for sure, but I craved that sense of wholeness within that group of cross country teammates, knowing that when I lined up beside them, they would be there for me and with me every step we raced. It is exactly what I have found this year at Virginia.

It is our second cross country season under Coach Vigilante – and only his second cross country season coaching women. It’s the second year in a row that we’ve had nearly the entire team return, as well. But, it’s the first year we, as a team, have really been able to come together, all flaws and differences aside, and work harder than ever to reach our goals. What’s on our radar right now? The ACC Championship this Saturday.

Last year at ACCs, we managed to scrape by and finish reasonably. Then we brought it all to the table and won the Southeast Region Championship at Wake Forest, stamping our ticket to the NCAA Championships and showing us a glimmer of the success we were to have together. This year, we’ve picked up right where we left off on Wake Forest’s course last November: we are the best of friends, we have a genuine care and concern for one another and we are fierce in our desire for victory!

This year’s team features the most depth we’ve had in recent memory. We have a really solid top-four finishers and the next six women are all amazingly talented and able to step up at any moment to round out our score.

As we go into the week of ACCs, we carry with us not just the confidence of our training, but the love and camaraderie of our time together: apple picking, birthday dinners, movie night with ice cream, etc. As we line up against our conference rivals, I have every confidence that each and every girl will be there, with me and for me, as we race to a conference title.

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