Charlottesville, Va. – The Virginia men’s cross country team was picked to finish second in the ACC preseason coaches’ poll on Thursday (Aug. 30), while the women’s team was selected to finish ninth.
The Cavalier men are ranked 17th in the country by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Five-time defending ACC champion Syracuse was selected to win the men’s title, while two-time conference champion NC State was voted as the women’s favorite.
Virginia men’s team finished fourth at the 2017 ACC Cross Country Championships with three runners earning All-ACC honors. Graduate student Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.) finished as the conference runner-up, recording UVA’s best individual finish since 2010. Demarest returns this season alongside junior Lachlan Cook (Brisbane, Australia), who finished fifth at last year’s meet. Additionally, former UVA runner Chase Weaverling (class of 2018) aided the team with a 19th-place finish for All-ACC honors.
The men’s team qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships, where they captured a 16th-place finish on the national stage. Demarest earned All-America honors, finishing 19th.
On the women’s side, Virginia finished eighth at last year’s ACC Championships. Former Cavaliers Frances Schmiede (class of 2018) and Beth Hawling (class of 2018) led the team with an eighth and ninth overall finish, respectively.
Schmiede earned an individual berth for the national championships and finished 42nd in the competition.
The Cavaliers will open the 2018 season on Saturday (Sept. 1) with the UVA Duals. The meet at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va., will begin at 9:30 a.m.