Miami makes program history at ACC Cross Country Championships

Redshirt sophomore Daphnee Lavassas during the ACC Cross Country Championships on Oct. 28, 2022. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

In the sleepy town of Earlysville, Virginia, 12 miles north of Charlottesville, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Cross Country Championships were set to commence on Friday morning.

The University of Miami women’s team walked away with its best finish in program history, placing 12th out of the field of 15.

“We made program history today and although it’s tough to miss out on 11th place by one point, I couldn’t be more proud of the growth of this young team,” Coach Cody Halsey said in a Miami Athletics release. “I know they are all hungry and can’t wait to get back to work with them.”

The strong performance was spearheaded by sophomore Daphnee Lavassas, who finished 28th in the 6k, the second-best finish in program history at this event. Her time, 20:24.6, was a personal best 30 seconds behind the 6k school record.

“Daphnee had a phenomenal showing today,” Halsey said. “She’s fearless and it’s been such an honor to coach that. She was 28th in one of strongest fields of women the ACC has ever seen. I’m incredibly proud of her.”

Sophomore Elle Mezzio followed Lavassas across the line, placing second for the ‘Canes with a time of 21:21.2. Fellow teammate and sophomore Bianca Banato was third with a split of 21:27.5. For both girls, the times were personal bests in the 6k event.

“Elle and Bianca also had extraordinary races today,” Halsey said. “They took big risks, ran with pride and whole heartily left it all out on the course.”

The men’s team finished 15th with sophomore Austen Cannon leading the way once again for the ‘Canes. He ran a time of 24:49.7 in the 8k, followed by junior Justin Rittenhouse, who finished in 25:06.2, a personal best.

A few more ‘Canes that got personal bests at the event were sophomore Amaya Turner, freshman Candace Keiffer and freshman Nico Valentine.

The Hurricanes are close to the finish line of their season with only the National Collegiate Athletic Association South Regional Championships left. This year the race will take place at College Station, Texas, on Friday, Nov. 11.