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Men’s and women’s cross country teams perform well at the XC23 Invitational

The men’s and women’s teams both placed second at their second home meet of the season.

<p>Freshman Margot Appleton had a strong race for the Cavaliers, placing second overall.</p>

Freshman Margot Appleton had a strong race for the Cavaliers, placing second overall.

The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams both competed at the XC23 Invitational at Panorama Farms Friday in Earlysville, Va. The meet would serve as the Cavaliers’ final regular season meet of the season, and both the Cavalier men and women impressed during the meet. Out of the nine schools competing in the men’s categories, the Virginia men’s team placed second, and the women’s team placed second out of the eight schools in the women’s categories. 

The men competed in the 8000-meter event, while the women competed in the 5000-meter event. 

The men's race was first, which began at 10 a.m. at a cool 68 degrees, but with 90 percent humidity. Despite these conditions, the Cavalier men persevered, finishing with their top five runners all in the top 20. Senior Rohann Asfaw led the team placing fifth with a time of 24:13 and was followed by sophomore Yasin Sado, who placed 10th with a time of 24:40 — beating out 11th place by two tenths of a second. Junior Jacob Hunter placed 15th followed by freshman Colin Peattie and graduate student Johnny Rogers, who placed 17th and 18th, respectively. 

Graduate student Ka’eo Kruse and sophomore Kevin Carlson rounded out the top seven for the Cavalier men, placing 22nd and 26th. 

The Virginia men lost to the University of Pennsylvania, which achieved a score of 52 compared to the Cavaliers’ score of 62. Virginia managed to beat Eastern Kentucky by one point to finish second. Yale finished fourth, and William & Mary finished fifth overall. 

“On the guys’ side we had all sorts of people who were sick but now we’re starting to get things together,” said Vin Lananna, Virginia’s director of track and field and cross country. “I’m excited about what the next couple of weeks will work like.”

The Cavalier women’s team then took the starting line at 10:50 a.m. Virginia had three women in the top 10, with freshman Margot Appleton leading the way by placing second with a time of 17:13.8. Appleton was outpaced by Yale senior Kayley Delay, who dominated with a time of 16:39. 

Other top performances included graduate student Michaela Meyer, who placed sixth, and freshman Mia Barnett, who finished seventh. Meyer finished the race with a time of 17:31.3, which was her best result this season. Barnett finished with a time of 17:33.6 after placing first at the Virginia Invitational in September. 

Graduate student Tayor Jones placed 20th with a time of 18:14, and sophomore Lila Fenner placed 23rd with a time of 18:17.6. Sophomore Ellie Desmond and freshman Sophie Atkinson placed 25th and 29th, respectively, to round out the Virginia top seven. 

Yale placed first as a team in the women’s race, finishing with a score of 32 points. The Cavaliers followed with a score of 58 and placed ahead of George Washington, which came in at third place with 72 points. Eastern Kentucky took fourth, and Miami placed fifth. 

“Whenever you have a young team, you’re going to have to roll with the punches,” Lananna said. “I think we have a first-year heavy group. We just need to be patient and take it one step at a time. There were some really positive things that happened today. We are finally starting to get people back and healthy.”

Virginia's next meet will be the ACC Championship, which will be hosted by Notre Dame Oct. 29 in South Bend, Ind.

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