White Earns All-America Honors, Finishes Fourth at NCAAs
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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams concluded their respective seasons with matching 15th-place finishes at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course on Monday.
The women were led by junior Catherine White who earned All-America honors with a fourth-place overall finish, completing the course in 19:59.5 to become the highest finisher for the Cavaliers since Lesley Welch’s victory in 1982. Junior Stephanie Garcia finished 44th for Virginia with a time of 20:47.6, while senior Lauretta Dezubay was 92nd in 21:15.5. Sophomore Morgane Gay finished with a time of 21:24.8 to claim 116th and sophomore Laurel MacMillan – competing in her first national championship – finished 220th in 22:25.1.
Sophomore Ryan Collins led Virginia’s men with a 41st-place finish and a time of 30:22.0, narrowly missing All-America honors. Junior Emil Heineking was second for Virginia finishing 68th in 30:36.7, while freshman Sintayehu Taye, competing in his first-ever NCAA Championship, took 122nd, crossing the line in 31:08.8. Junior Graham Tribble, with a time of 31:13.9, finished 133rd and junior Trey Miller rounded out the scoring Cavaliers in 141st place with a time of 31:18.1.
“Without question, the NCAA Cross Country Championships are one of the most difficult competitions in collegiate sports,” head coach Jason Vigilante said. “For us to finish 15th on both the women’s side and the men’s side on the same day shows a lot about the character and type of people we have in our program.
“Our men’s team rebounded from one of the most difficult races they’ve had in the past two years and left the course today with their heads held high and proud of their effort.
“Our ladies team, led by outstanding performances, specifically a fourth-place finish by Catherine White, was just phenomenal. I’m so happy for these student-athletes and I’m thankful for this opportunity to coach these teams.”
Angela Bizzari from Illinois won the women’s title in 19:46.8, just 13 seconds ahead of White, while Liberty’s Samuel Chelanga shattered the course record in 28:41.3 for top honors in the men’s race.
Villanova claimed the women’s team title with 86 points, while Florida State finished runner up with 133 points. Washington rounded out the top-three with 188 points.
On the men’s side Oklahoma State won with 127 points. Oregon took second with 143 points and Alabama was third with 173.
Virginia’s men were the top ACC team to finish with 408 points, while the Cavalier women checked in with 391 points.