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No. 21 men’s cross country crowned NCAA Southeast Regional Champions

Women’s cross country finishes seventh, six Cavaliers earn region honors

<p>The top five for the Virginia men's cross country team finished within 16 seconds of each other.</p>

The top five for the Virginia men's cross country team finished within 16 seconds of each other.

The No. 21 Virginia men’s cross country team won the NCAA Southeast Regional hosted at their home course, Panorama Farms. The Cavaliers’ dominant victory marks their first title since 2014 and their third ever in program history.

From the start of the 10K, the Cavaliers looked strong and in control. At the 3K mark, Virginia had secured the lead with six runners forming a pack in the front. The pack maintained through the 6K, and all the way to the finish, Virginia’s lead remained unbroken. 

The Cavaliers’ top five runners all finished in the top 20. Junior AJ Ernst crossed the finish line first with a time of 30:17.8 in 11th place. The rest of the squad was not far behind. Virginia swept the 15-17 positions with senior Ari Klau (30:27.8), senior Alex Corbett (30:31.2), and freshman Peter Morris (30:31.6) claiming those spots, respectively. Junior Lachlan Cook rounded out Virginia’s top five with a time of 30:33.5 — leaving only a 16 second difference between Ernst and Cook.

The men’s score of 79 points is a testament to the consistency of runners present on this roster. The entire top five earned All-Southeast Region honors.

"It is always exciting to win a race and qualify a team for the NCAA Championships, which is what our men did today,” Coach Vin Lananna said. “We had a strong pack that worked extremely well together to achieve an exciting result." 

In the women’s race, Virginia placed seventh overall. Junior Gabrielle Karas led the way finishing in 25th place with a time of 20:56.8. Karas earned All-Southeast Region honors for her performance. 

The Cavaliers’ top five consisted of Karas, junior Hannah Moran in 39th place (21:14.1), junior Kiera Bothwell in 45th place (21:18.3), sophomore Helena Lindsay in 72nd place (21:49.0) and junior Olivia Sargent in 79th place (21:53.8).

"Our women got the day started with a well-executed performance,” Lananna said. “They worked together, encouraged each other on the course and held each other accountable.” 

By finishing in the top two of the team standings, the Virginia men’s cross country team will be extending their postseason with a trip to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 23.