Nov. 11, 2016

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EARLYSVILLE, Va.-The Virginia men’s cross country team qualified for the NCAA Championships after placing second at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships Friday (Nov. 11) at Panorama Farms in Earlysville. It is the fifth-consecutive year the Cavaliers have automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships.

The Cavaliers, ranked No. 12 in the FloTrack national poll and No. 16 in the USTFCCCA national rankings, finished second with 105 points, 15 behind NC State (No. 27 in USTFCCCA), who finished with 90 points. Furman was a close third with 106 points, while Eastern Kentucky (117) and Kentucky (150) rounded out the top five. The top two teams from each regional meet automatically qualify for NCAAs, while 13 at-large teams are selected Saturday (Nov. 12).

Senior Zach Herriott (Kansas City, Mo.) led Virginia across the line, finishing in ninth place in a 10,000-meter time of 29:17.0. ACC Freshman of the Year Lachlan Cook (Brisbane, Australia) was 12th in 29:31.1, while junior Chase Weaverling (Poolesville, Md.) finished 14th in 29:39.4. Herriott, Cook and Weaverling all earned USTFCCCA All-Southeast Region honors for their finishes.

Redshirt freshman Matthew Novak (Glen Run, Va.) was fourth for UVA in 32nd overall, while redshirt sophomore Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.) finished 38th to round out the scoring five. Demarest was able to hold off NC State’s Elijah Moskowitz by 0.3 and give the Cavaliers a one-point advantage over Furman for the second automatic NCAA team spot.

“It was a little bit closer than we expected,” UVA men’s cross country coach Pete Watson said. “We battled some illness all week, but the boys came back and did what they had to do to get into the top two and advance to NCAAs. I’m really proud of them for competing hard. Now we look to get healthy this week and take advantage of another chance to race.”

The NCAA Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 19.