Earlysville, Va. – The No. 22 Virginia men’s cross country team led the field at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Friday (Sept. 27), finishing first in the team standings in the 8k race at Panorama Farms. The Virginia women’s team placed eighth in the team standings, running a 6k race.
The men’s team captured its sixth team victory at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational, recording 35 points as all five scoring runners placed in the top 10. The score was the second-best in program history for the Cavaliers at the meet. Michigan State finished second with 82 points, while Charlotte placed third with 109 points.
On the women’s side, No. 11 Michigan State scored 42 points for first place. Yale finished second with 98 points, while Kentucky rounded out the top three with 143 points. Virginia scored 181 points to place eighth in the team standings.
Redshirt senior Ari Klau (West Hartford, Conn.) and senior Spencer Dodds (Temecula, Calif.) led the Cavalier pack across the finish line as all five Virginia runners finished in under six-and a-half seconds apart. Klau captured the top time for UVA, placing fourth overall with a time of 24:14.2. Dodds crossed the line a second later for a fifth-place finish with a time of 24:15.4. Senior AJ Ernst (Marblehead, Mass.) placed seventh with a time of 24:17.4. Junior Rohann Asfaw (Rockville, Md.) and sophomore Peter Morris (Hamilton, Va.) rounded out the top 10, placing ninth and 10th, respectively. Asfaw ran a time of 24:19.7 as Morris finished with a time of 24:20.4.
“The men were absolutely fantastic,” director of track and field and cross country/associate athletics director for administration Vin Lananna said. “They ran as a group. They had clearly defined objectives and I think they checked the boxes on all of them.”
Junior Hannah Moran (Salem, Va.) was the top UVA finisher on the women’s side for the second meet in a row. Moran finished 22nd, running a time of 21:25.0. Junior Kiera Bothwell (Springfield, Va.) was the next Cavalier to cross the finish line, running a time of 21:42.8 for 30th place. Redshirt junior Olivia Sargent (Yardley, Pa.) placed 37th with a time of 21:53.9, while junior Doria Martingayle (Virginia Beach, Va.) placed 48th with a time of 22:16.3. Junior Madelin Rennyson (Virginia, Beach, Va.) was the fifth Cavalier to finish as she ran a time of 22:39.9 for 62nd place.
“The women’s team is a work in progress,” Lananna said. “We will take it one step at a time. It’s a long journey. I think there were a lot of positive things that came out of today. Now I think we just need to work on minimizing our weaknesses.”
The Virginia men’s team will return to action on Oct. 18 as the team competes at the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisc. The women’s team will compete on Oct. 19 at the Under Armour Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.