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Sept. 22, 2012

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EARLYSVILLE, Va.—The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams both finished third at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational Saturday (Sept. 22) in Earlysville, Va.

Graduate student Catherine White (Roanoke, Va.) finished second in the women’s race, while fellow grad student Zach Gates (Fishers, Ind.) placed fourth in the men’s race.

In the women’s race, the Cavaliers finished third with 57 points, behind Wisconsin (35) and Kentucky (47). California (83) was fourth, followed by Liberty (136), VCU (186), Howard (187) and Norfolk State (198).

White was near the front of the pack for most of the race before making a move to the front about halfway through the 5K race. She finished second in a time of 17:34.7 to Cally Macumber of Kentucky, who won the race in 17:29.2. Macumber’s time is the fourth-fastest mark in Panorama Farms’ history, while White’s time ranks sixth all-time. It was the first time White has competed in cross country since 2009 because of injuries. That year, she finished fourth at the NCAA Championships.

“Overall, it was good to get more cobwebs off and get more race sharp” White said. “I haven’t run cross country since 2009, so it’s been awhile and it’s getting use to running on grass again and in spikes. Finding your tempo in long grass can be a switch (from the track), but it’s going well and I’m enjoying and having fun with it.”

Senior Vicky Fouhy (Buckinghamshire, England) crossed the line second for Virginia in 10th overall (18:32.3), while junior Ariel Karabinus (Manassas, Va.) and freshman Audrey Batzel (Virginia Beach, Va.) were 12th and 13th, respectively. Junior Barbara Strehler (Richmond, Va.) placed 20th to finish the scoring for the Cavaliers.

“It was our first real competition (of the season) and we saw a good run by Catherine (White),” head women’s cross country coach Todd Morgan said. “I was really happy with Vicky (Fouhy) in her first cross country race. She’s more of a 800/1,500-meter runner, so I think she showed that she’s becoming more comfortable running on grass and dirt and that’s encouraging to see.”

The Cavalier men finished third with 66 points, behind No. 4 Oklahoma (40 points) and No. 22 Arkansas (61). No. 21 Michigan (75) was fourth, followed by Duke (135), California (153), Kentucky (200), Norfolk State (256), VCU (261) and Howard (283).

Gates, a graduate transfer from William and Mary, finished fourth in his first Virginia race in an 8K time of 24:21.5 after being 14th at the two-mile mark. Senior Sean Keveren (Brentwood, Tenn.) charged ahead of a pack of Sooners right at the finish to cross the line seventh overall in 24:30.0.

“I felt pretty comfortable at the start and at about five and half kilometers, a couple of the Arkansas guys made a move, but I still felt good, so I went with them,” Gates said. “The last couple of hills I could feel it (in my legs), but overall I’m very pleased at this point in the season.”

Redshirt freshman Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) placed 13th in 24:32.2, while true freshman Connor Rog (Fairfield, Conn.) made an impressive debut for the Cavaliers, finishing 17th in 24:38.6. Sophomore Thomas Porter (Fredericksburg, Va.) finished the scoring five, placing 25th.

“A lot more positives than negatives came out of today for us,” men’s head cross country coach Pete Watson said. “Zach (Gates) in his first race for us was incredible. We ran disciplined through 6K and Connor (Rog), our true freshman, really stepped up finishing 17th. Thomas (Porter) did a good job really coming through to be our fifth guy today.”

Arkansas’ Kemoy Campbell won the men’s race in 24:04.7.

The Cavaliers return to action Oct. 12 when they travel to Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational.

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