Virginia Men's & Women's Cross Country Teams Qualify for NCAA Championships
Nov. 14, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams qualified for next week’s NCAA Cross Country Championships with strong performances Friday at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships at the E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The Cavalier men won their second Southeast Region championship in the past three years, while Virginia finished second in the women’s race.
The results mark the second consecutive year that both teams earned automatic bids to the NCAA Championships. It is also the seventh time both the Virginia men and women qualified for the NCAA Championships in the same season, having also accomplished the feat in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013.
The 28th-ranked Cavalier men captured the title by defeating three other nationally ranked squads. Virginia won the meet with 75 points, edging second place Furman with 79 points. North Carolina (87 points) was third, followed by Eastern Kentucky (107) and NC State (142).
Virginia had four runners in the top 25 of the 10k race to earn All-Southeast Region honors. Sophomore Adam Visokay (Ruckersville, Va.) led the Cavaliers with a sixth place finish, crossing just ahead of junior Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.), who was seventh. Junior Zach Herriott (Kansas City, Mo.) was 11th and first-year Chase Weaverling (Darnestown, Md.) was 24th, to also earn All-Region honors. Sophomore Connor Rog (Fairfield, Conn.) rounded out the Virginia scoring five with a 27th place finish.
“I am really proud of the boys in how they bounced back from the ACC meet,” said men’s head coach Pete Watson. “All week I knew these guys wanted it and they did an incredible job of running together as a team and taking care of each other on the course at critical moments. This victory was a complete team effort.”
The 14th-ranked Cavalier women earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships as the Southeast Regional runner-up. Virginia finished with 82 points, just behind champion William & Mary (74 pts) and ahead of ACC rivals North Carolina (94), Virginia Tech (97) and NC State (106).
Three Cavalier women earned All-Southeast Region honors with their performances in the 6k race. Virginia had two of the top five individuals as graduate students Iona Lake (Norwich, England) and Morgan Kelly (San Francisco, Calif.) crossed the line in third and fourth place. Sophomore Sarah Fakler (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned All-Region accolades for the second consecutive year with an 11th-place finish. Graduate student Kathleen Stevens (Blacksburg, Va.) and junior Cleo Boyd (Kingston, Ontario) rounded out the scoring five for the Cavaliers by finishing in 31st and 33rd place, respectively.
“These past two weeks we have continued to improve,” said women’s head coach Todd Morgan. “The group looks great and is excited to get to Terre Haute. This is a tough, focused group and we want to put a good finish to the season next Saturday.”
The NCAA Championships will be held Nov. 22 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
Men’s Top Five Teams
1. Virginia (75)
2. Furman (79)
3. North Carolina (87)
4. Eastern Kentucky (107)
5. NC State (142)
Individual Top Five
1. Luis Vargas (Elon) 30:05.8
2. Edwin Kibichiy (Louisville) 30:13.9
3. Ernest Kibet (Louisville) 30:16.4
4. George Parsons (NC State) 30:16.9
5. Ole Hesselbjerg (Eastern Kentucky) 30:19.0
Women’s Top Five Teams
1. William & Mary (74)
2. Virginia (82)
3. North Carolina (94)
4. Virginia Tech (97)
5. NC State (106)
Individual Top Five
1. Annie LeHardy (North Carolina) 20:13.4
2. Carolyn Hennessey (William & Mary) 20:14.7
3. Iona Lake (Virginia) 20:23.5
4. Morgan Kelly (Virginia) 20:24.4
5. Joanna Thompson (NC State) 20:25.1