UVA men finish 2nd, clinch NCAA Championship spot; women finish 3rd at Southeast Regional

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Led by a third-place finish overall from Justin Wachtel in a thrilling 10k race, the Virginia men’s cross country team placed second at the southeast regional championships to clinch their place in next week’s national championships. The Virginia women will await the NCAA Division I Cross Country Selection Committee’s decision in hopes of an at-large bid after placing third in their race.

The Virginia men did what they do best running as a pack, as the Cavaliers kept themselves within touching distance of the all-important top-two qualifying places trailing Wake Forest, EKU and North Carolina after four kilometers were run.

Virginia made its move at the 6k-mark as the Cavaliers surpassed EKU and North Carolina to grab hold of second place for the first time in the race as Virginia’s top-five runners crossed six kilometers within a second of each other.

At the finish it was Wachtel leading the Cavaliers across the finish line with his time of 29:47.7 followed by Derek Johnson in tenth. The final wave of Cavalier scorers included Yasin Sado, Rohann Asfaw and Will Anthony who went 22-23-25 to put the Cavalier point-total at 83, edging ACC Champions Wake Forest for the second automatic qualifier by just five points.

In the women’s 6k race, Virginia battled against ACC rivals NC State and North Carolina throughout. As NC State pulled away around the 3k-mark, things only got closer between the Cavaliers and the Tar Heels in a battle for the remaining qualifying place.

At the finish line, Sophie Atkinson led Virginia in 13th place with her time of 20:36.3 followed by Margot Appleton in 16th and Mia Barnett in 23rd. Camryn Menninger and Esther Seeland rounded out the scoring for Virginia to put the Cavaliers at a total of 109.

Additional Notes

  • The Virginia men return to the NCAA Championships for the first time since the 2019 season
  • If the Cavalier women earn an at-large bid on Saturday, it will mark the first time both teams have made the NCAA Championships since the 2015 season
  • With their third-place finish, the Cavalier women broke into the top three of the southeast region for the first time since Virginia won the regional title in 2015 – this was also the last time the squad qualified for the national championships
  • Justin Wachtel, Derek Johnson, Yasin Sado, Rohann Asfaw and Will Anthony earn all-region honors for the men
  • Sophie Atkinson, Margot Appleton and Mia Barnett all earned all-region honors for finishing in the top-25
  • Redshirt-freshman Justin Wachtel continues a remarkable campaign having led the Cavaliers in four of their six races this season
  • Sophie Atkinson becomes the second Cavalier to lead her team this season after Margot Appleton led the Cavaliers in every other race in 2022
  • The Virginia women have not finished outside the top three in any of their races this season

From Director of Track and Cross Country, Vin Lananna

“I am extremely proud of both our men and women’s teams today. Both teams competed hard and executed their race plans exceptionally well. I am very excited that the men are heading to Stillwater, and we are holding on waiting to see if the women will head out there as well. I am so proud of both of our teams and the remarkable improvement they have shown from just a season ago.”

Panorama Farms & XC23

After serving as the host site for the 2022 ACC Championships, the next major championship meet set to be run at Panorama Farms will be the 2023 NCAA Championships in November of next year.

NCAA Southeast Regional
E.P. Tom Sawyer Park
Louisville, Ky.

Women’s Top-10 Finishers (6k)

  1. NC State – 25
  2. North Carolina – 76
  3. Virginia – 109
  4. Furman – 133
  5. Duke – 188
  6. Kentucky – 200
  7. Elon – 210
  8. Wake Forest – 238
  9. Liberty – 244
  10. Virginia Tech – 285

Men’s Top-10 Team Finishers (10k)

  1. North Carolina – 61
  2. Virginia – 83
  3. Wake Forest – 88
  4. NC State – 96
  5. Duke – 135
  6. EKU – 143
  7. Charlotte – 198
  8. Furman – 251
  9. Liberty – 289
  10. Kentucky – 299


  • The Virginia men are guaranteed a place in the NCAA Championships to be held in Stillwater, Okla. on Saturday, Nov. 19
  • The NCAA will announce the official national championship field via a 30-minute selection show Saturday (Nov. 12) where the women will hope to earn an at-large bid