The Virginia men’s cross country team finished second with 61 points at the Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday at the Virginia Tech Cross Country Course at Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg, Va. Freshman Connor Rog was named the men’s ACC Freshman of the Year for the being the top true freshman finisher.
“This is just my second 8K and running with the best runners in the ACC is amazing,” Rog said. “The race itself was insane, we went out really fast. Around the 2K mark, I fell around a corner, so that was a little scary. After the 4K to 6K part, which is the toughest portion of the race, Thomas Porter and I got rolling. I’m excited to be the top freshman, but I want to be up there farther.”
The men finished just six points behind champion Virginia Tech (55 points) and one point ahead of third place Florida State (62 points). NC State was fourth with 74 points, followed by Duke (112), North Carolina (149), Wake Forest (209), Boston College (246), Georgia Tech (272), Clemson (280) and Miami (342).
The men were paced by graduate student Zach Gates and redshirt freshman Kyle King, who finished fourth and fifth in 23:46.8 and 23:51.3, respectively. Porter placed 11th to join Gates and King as All-Conference honorees. After Rog in 18th, sophomore Drew Paisley rounded out the scoring five with a 23rd-place finish. William Mulherin of Virginia Tech won the individual title in 23:37.3.
“Obviously our goal was to win and we thought we had a legitimate chance to come in first,” head men’s cross country coach Pete Watson said. “Everyone’s a little down we didn’t accomplish that, but I’m proud of these guys. They went out in front, ran hard and executed our game plan that we had going in. We’re a couple weeks away with Sean (Keveren) and Mark (Amirault) from being at full strength, but other than that, the guys were great.”
Next up, the Cavaliers host the Virginia/Panorama Farms Open next Saturday at 10 a.m.
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