The Virginia cross country team competed in its second straight home meet Friday — the annual Panorama Farms Invitational in Earlysville, Va. Both the men’s and women’s teams were featured, running the 8K and 6K races, respectively.
The No. 22 Virginia men finished first overall out of 16 teams with 35 points, while Michigan State and Charlotte took second and third, scoring 82 points and 102 points respectively. Five out of 12 male runners placed in the top 10.
The women’s team placed eighth with 181 points in a competitive race that saw No. 11 Michigan State secure first with a 42-point performance while Yale finished second with 98 points.
The Cavalier men took an early position at the head of the pack and at the 3 kilometer mark, the team held second place led by sophomore Lachlan Cook. By the 5 kilometer mark, however, they secured the team lead with senior Ari Klau pacing Virginia and the Cavaliers never looked back.
Klau crossed the finish line with a time of 24:14.2, taking fourth place behind Liberty sophomore Felix Kandie. Senior Spencer Dodds took fifth place with a time of 24:15.4 — just over a second after Klau. Following Klau and Dodds were Senior AJ Ernst in 7th place, junior Rohann Asfaw in 9th and sophomore Peter Morris in 10th.
"The men were absolutely fantastic," said Vin Lananna, director of track and field and cross country. "They had clearly defined objectives and I think they checked the boxes on all of them."
At the conclusion of the men’s race, the women’s event started with Virginia holding a solid position among the top-five teams in the early goings. When the teams hit the 2 kilometer mark, the Cavalier women were in fourth place overall, led by juniors Hannah Moran and Kiera Bothwell.
The team ended up losing ground in the second half of the race to secure an eighth-place finish. The Virginia women had Moran leading the way with a time of 21:25.0 and a 22nd overall individual finish. Four of the team’s runners recorded a top-50 finish with notable performances from Bothwell who finished 30th, junior Olivia Sargent who finished 37th and junior Doria Martingayle who finished 48th.
"The women's team is a work in progress," Lananna said. “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 women’s team was without standout sophomore Abbey Green due to the last-minute decision to rest Green for the second half of the season.
The Virginia women will next compete at the Under Armour Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., Oct. 19., while the men’s team will compete at the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wis., Oct. 18.