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Joelle Amaral

Assistant Coach - Distance
Joelle Amaral - Cross Country - Virginia Cavaliers

• First season at Virginia
• 1 All-American

Joelle Amaral joined the Virginia program in the fall of 2022 to coach the middle-distance and distance runners for the Cavaliers. She came to UVA after serving as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky from 2019-2022.

The 2023 indoor season marked more progress for the Cavaliers. Margot Appleton led the way with an impressive campaign in both the mile and the 3000m. She hit a personal-best mile time of 4:33.82 at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational which would eventually qualify her for the NCAA Championships where she finished fourth to earn first team All-American honors as the lowest seed in the competition. Appleton also broke the Virginia 3000m record on two occasions setting the mark at 9:04.17 finishing fourth at the ACC Indoor Championships.

The Cavalier DMR team also set a Virginia record running 10:55.94 at the ACC Championships in a fourth-place finish. The squad had also run a time of 11:02.00 at the JDL DMR Invitational during the regular season. The converted time of 10:54.99 missed qualification for the NCAA Championships by less than a second.

In her first season at Virginia, Amaral guided the Cavalier women to an impressive season on the cross country course. After a third-place finish at the ACC Championships, Virginia earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships where the placed ninth overall. The performance was the first top-10 finish since the 2013 season and just the fifth all-time.

At Eastern Kentucky, Amaral helped lead Ahmed Jaziri to the Colonels’ first-ever NCAA title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and helped Laura Taborda become the first woman in EKU history to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the same event. In all, Amaral helped guide the Colonels to three conference championships in cross country. She also coached the distance runners to a total of 10 individual conference titles and three All-American honors across indoor and outdoor track and field seasons in her time at EKU.

Amaral began her coaching career at Kentucky, serving as a graduate assistant from 2017-2019. She served as an assistant coach to the distance runners and handled operations for the cross country team.

While competing at Washington, Amaral received Pac-12 All-Academic honors after the 2012 cross country season.

A native of Randolph, N.J., Amaral earned her undergraduate degree from Washington in communication studies with a minor in nutritional sciences. She earned a master’s degree in kinesiology and health promotions from Kentucky.