UVA hosting NCAA Cross Country Championships Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Cavaliers are ready to run.
For the second straight season, both the UVA Men and Women’s Cross Country Teams have qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Now, they’re getting set to compete on their home course.
“It’s a big advantage. We ran really well there the first two times we were this year. We’ve touched every part of the course, every blade of grass,” Gary Martin said “Knowing that course and knowing were we have to make moves.”
“As Gary said, it’s kind of an advantage,” Margot Appleton said. “Just managing nerves, emotions, and expectations. Prepare like we would for any race.”
The event features the top 31 collegiate teams in the country, and top long-distance runners.
“The course is phenomenal and I have been doing this a long time. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better prepared community,” Coach Vin Lananna said. “It has a little bit of everything. It has a fast start, some hills, some good turns that you have to navigate.”
There’ll be 200 local folks working as volunteers Saturday, November 18, many as course monitors.
“Grateful for a great athletic director and president who wanted to go out on a limb to get this event here,” the coach said.
The Women’s 6K will start at 10:20 a.m., followed by the Men’s 10K at 11:10 a.m. on the Earlysville course.
The event is sold out. About 5,000 fans are expected to show up.
“It’s going to be really cool knowing the majority are cheering for us. I think that will give us an extra boost,” Appleton said.
The Cross Country Championships tomorrow will be on ESPN-U, starting with a pre-race show at 9:30 a.m.
Do you have a story idea? Send us your news tip here.
Copyright 2023 WVIR. All rights reserved.