Men’s and women’s cross country teams impress at Battle in Beantown – University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily

Men’s and women’s cross country teams impress at Battle in Beantown  University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily

The men’s team claimed five of the top six spots in the 8k through a strong display of pack running.

Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams competed Friday in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown hosted by Boston College at Franklin Park. Out of the 19 teams for women and 15 teams for men, both Cavalier teams placed first overall. 

The men’s team competed in the 8000-meter event while the women’s team competed in the 5000-meter event. There was only one heat for each event.

The women’s team scored 27 points total to maintain their undefeated status on the season. Northeastern finished a total of 70 points behind Virginia to place second with 97 points. The Cavaliers also beat two ranked teams at the meet — No. 20 Harvard and No. 21 Gonzaga.

Sophomore distance runner Margot Appleton led Virginia, placing second overall in the women’s event with a time of 17:12. This marked her third top-two finish of the season. 

Sophomore distance runner Camryn Menninger finished less than a second after Appleton as the second leading runner for the Cavaliers, placing third overall. Sophomore distance runner Mia Barnett made her first appearance this season. She finished 13th overall with a time of 17:37.

Vin Lananna, director of track and cross country, was impressed with their performance. 

“On the women’s side we were excited to put together our whole team today,” Lananna said. “We have some things that we must continue to work on, but we will see a very strong team this year.” 

In the men’s event, the top five runners from Virginia consecutively placed second through sixth, securing their second win of the season. The Cavaliers scored a total of 20 points. Dartmouth finished second with 98 points — a total 78 points behind Virginia. The Cavaliers also beat two ranked teams — No. 15 Harvard and No. 20 Syracuse.

Leading the Virginia men’s team, junior distance runner Yasin Sodo won second overall in the men’s event with a time of 23:53. He averaged 4.49 minute miles. This marked his second consecutive runner-up win of the season. 

Sophomore distance runner Justin Wachtel finished right behind Sado as the second leading runner for the Cavaliers, placing third overall with a time of 23:55. Three other runners from Virginia also finished within four seconds of Sado — sophomore Jack Eliason, senior Rohann Asfaw and freshman Will Anthony.

Both junior Derek Johnson and freshman Gary Martin made their first appearances this season at the meet. Johnson finished ninth overall and seventh for the team with a time of 23:59. Martin finished 17th overall with a time of 24:31. 

“The men put together an outstanding display of pack running,” Lananna said. “That is going to be incredibly important as we quickly approach the championship season.” 

The next cross country meet for Virginia will be the XC 23 Invitational held Oct. 15 at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va., starting at 10 a.m. After the Invitational, the Cavaliers will compete in the ACC Cross Country Championships, marking the start to the championship season.