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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia cross country teams will begin its postseason this weekend, heading to the E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., to compete in the 2010 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Saturday. The women’s 6k race is slated to begin at 10 a.m., with the men’s 10k race following at 11:15 a.m.

Coming off a runner-up finish at the regional meet last season, Virginia’s No. 12 women enter this year’s meet as the top-ranked team in the region. Three other ranked teams will compete against the Cavaliers, including No. 17 Duke, No. 21 North Carolina and No. 29 NC State.

Led by three top-10 All-ACC performances, Virginia’s women come into the meet after earning its best finish at ACCs since 1993. The Cavaliers finishing second to No. 3 Florida State – upsetting then-No. 12 Duke and then-No. 17 North Carolina. Sophomore Barbara Strehler led Virginia with an eighth-place finish, while redshirt senior Stephanie Garcia finished ninth and junior Morgane Gay was 10th.

On the men’s side, No. 21 Virginia is among six nationally ranked teams looking for the regional title. No. 16 NC State enters as the top-ranked team, while No. 18 North Carolina, No. 19 William & Mary, No. 20 Louisville and No. 23 Duke follow. The Cavaliers finished fifth at the meet a year ago and earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Championships.

At this year’s ACC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 30, Virginia finished fourth. The Cavaliers were led by two-time individual ACC Champion Emil Heineking and runner-up Ryan Collins.

The top-two teams and top-four individuals from each of the eight regional meets will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships to be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 22. Thirteen teams will also earn an at-large bid, to be announced on Sunday, Nov. 14.

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