EARLYSVILLE, Va. – The No. 21 Virginia men’s cross country team won the 2019 NCAA Southeast Regional title on Friday (Nov. 15) at the Panorama Farms cross country course, earning an automatic berth the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. The Cavaliers won the men’s title for the third time in program history and first time since 2014.
All five of Virginia’s male runners finished in the top 20 as the Cavaliers recorded a score of 79. No. 22 Virginia Tech earned the second automatic berth from the men’s competition with a second-place finish and a score of 109.
The Cavalier women finished seventh in the team’s standings, recording a score of 250. No. 5 NC State won the women’s title with 48 points. No. 14 Furman finished second with 83 points to automatically qualify for the women’s cross country championships.
Virginia had six runners named to the All-Southeast Region team including, for just the second time in program history, all five scoring runners from the men’s team. Junior Gabriella Karas (Louisville, Ky.) earned the honor from the women’s team, while senior AJ Ernst (Marblehead, Mass.), redshirt senior Ari Klau (West Hartford, Conn.), redshirt senior Alex Corbett (Burke, Va.), sophomore Peter Morris (Hamilton, Va.) and senior Lachlan Cook (Brisbane, Australia) earned the honor in the men’s race.
“We are very happy with both team results today,” director of track & field and cross country/associate athletics director of administration Vin Lananna said. “Our women got the day started with a well-executed performance. They worked together, encouraged each other on the course and held each other accountable. The result was a positive step forward for them as a group. Seeing Gabby Karas on the podium to receive her all-region award was an exciting moment. It was a solid conclusion to our women’s cross country season and a great performance to build off of in the coming years.
“It is always exciting to win a race and qualify a team for the NCAA Championships, which is what our men did today. We had a strong pack that worked extremely well together to achieve an exciting result. The men were ecstatic after crossing the finish line. All five of our scorers earned all-region honors. We are excited to line up again in Terre Haute in eight days.”
The Cavaliers placed all five runners inside the top 20 of the men’s competition with Ernst capturing the team’s top time at 30:17.8 for an 11th-place finish. Klau placed 15th with a time of 30:27.8, while Corbett finished 16th with a time of 30:31.2 and Morris finished 17th with a time of 30:31.6. Cook rounded out the top five with a time of 30:33.5 to place 20th overall.
Karas paced the Cavalier women, recording a time of 20:56.8 for 25th place. Junior Hannah Moran (Salem, Va.) finished 39th with a time of 21:14.1 as junior Kiera Bothwell (Springfield, Va.) ran a time of 21:18.3 for 45th place. Sophomore Helena Lindsay (Yokohama, Japan) placed 72nd with a time of 21:49.0 as redshirt junior Olivia Sargent (Yardley, Pa.) rounded out UVA’s top five with a 79th-place finish and a time of 21:53.8.
The Cavalier men will continue their post season run, traveling to the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.