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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to Boston College’s Franklin Park to kick off the 2010-11 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships Saturday morning. The women will toe the line for a 6k race at 10 a.m., before the men’s 8k race at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m.

Virginia’s women enter the 33rd-annual conference championships with a No. 24 national ranking. The Cavaliers won their season-opening Lou Onesty Invitational behind an individual title by redshirt senior Stephanie Garcia. Virginia also earned runner-up finishes at the Brooks-Paul Short and Panorama Farms Invitationals this season.

Led by No. 3 Florida State, six nationally ranked women’s teams will toe the line for a highly competitive race. Duke brings a No. 12 ranking to the course, while North Carolina is ranked 17th nationally. Boston College trails Virginia by one place, coming in at No. 25, and NC State rounds out the nationally ranked competition at No. 28.

On the men’s side, Virginia is led by 2009 ACC individual champion senior Emil Heineking and redshirt junior Ryan Collins – who finished runner-up to Heineking at ACCs a year ago. As a team, the Cavaliers sandwiched runner-up finishes at the Lou Onesty and Panorama Farms Invitationals around a team victory at the Brooks-Paul Short Invite. Heineking claimed his second-straight Panorama Farms Invitational title in the Cavaliers’ last outing.

Virginia will take a No. 19 national ranking into the 57th annual ACC Championship, and will face four other nationally ranked squads. No. 8 Florida State brings the top ranking into the meet, while No. 14 Duke, No. 16 NC State and No. 25 North Carolina will all be vying for the conference crown.

Following this weekend’s championship, Virginia will return home to host the Cavalier Open on Friday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m.

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