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Oct. 30, 2015

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–The No. 7 Virginia women’s cross country team captured its first ACC Championship since 1982 Friday morning (Oct. 30) at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla.

It is Virginia’s third ACC Women’s Cross Country Championship, but first since winning back-to-back titles in 1981 and 1982.

The Cavaliers finished with 71 points, four ahead of NC State (75). Notre Dame was third (96), while Syracuse (141) and North Carolina (150) rounded out the top five. The victory margin of fourth is tied for the second-smallest in ACC Championship history. NC State defeated Wake Forest by three points in 1992 and North Carolina defeated NC State by four points in 2003.

Going into the final kilometer of the 6K race, NC State led UVA, 58-73, but the Cavaliers outpaced the Wolfpack to pull out the victory.

“It was a tremendous effort by the whole team,” UVA women’s head coach Todd Morgan said. “We were down going into the final kilometer, but we dug deep and finished strong to earn the win.

“It is definitely special to be the first team to win in 33 years. There have been a lot of great Virginia teams, but winning titles is not easy, so I’ve very proud of this group.”

Four Cavaliers earned All-ACC honors, led by junior Cleo Boyd (Kingston, Ontario), who finished fourth in a time of 20:19.8. Graduate student Iona Lake (Norwich, England) was 11th in 20:32.0, while freshman Emily Mulhern (Ijamsville, Md.) and graduate student Sarah Astin (Isle of Man, Great Britain) placed 15th and 19th to also earn all-conference accolades. Sophomore Megan Rebholz (Stafford, Va.) finished just outside the All-ACC Team, placing 22nd to round out the scoring five.

“The most impressive thing about that race was that we were down for the first 5,000 meters and it is a testament to how hard these ladies have been working,” UVA director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer said. “That was amazing. Cleo (Boyd) said before the race that it is much easier to do it when you are doing it for a team as opposed to as an individual and they certainly did it as a team today. The last team that won (in 1982) won the NCAA Championship so that puts this group in a very good standing.”

The meet signified the men’s and women’s cross country matchups between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash, sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia athletics. The Cavaliers picked up two points by way of finishing ahead of Virginia Tech in both the men’s and women’s races Friday. The score of the Clash is currently, University of Virginia – 3.5 and Virginia Tech – 0. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at

The Cavaliers return to action in two weeks when they host the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 13 at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va. The meet is scheduled to begin at noon.

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