Hurricanes set records at Virginia Invitational

Miami's cross country team during the UCF Cross Country Invitational in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.
Miami's cross country team during the UCF Cross Country Invitational in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

Neither the men’s nor women’s cross-country teams of Miami came in first at the Virginia Invitational on Friday.

Yet, one runner on the team still finished in first place.

Sophomore Daphnee Lavassas became the fastest 5K runner in Hurricanes’ history as she completed the race with a time of 17:23.1 on Friday. The time broke the former record of 17:25.92 set by Melanie Schultz in 2005.

“This was a great first race back for Daphnee,” Miami assistant coach Cody Halsey said. “Melanie Schultz was a tough athlete, so it’s exciting to see Daphnee break such a long-standing record so early in the season. It’s a testament to the consistent work she continues to put in. I’m looking forward to progressing in training with her.”

Sophomores Elle Mezzio (17:58.2) and Bianca Banata (18:11.4) and junior Natalie Varela (18:14.8) set top-10 all-time marks for 5K times.

“The women are working really hard together. It was fun to see Bianca, Natalie and Elle out there running fast and moving up on the all-time list,” Halsey said.

Miami’s women’s team finished in third place overall. Virginia was able to complete the race in a total time of 1:27.28, the best of the five schools competing.

On the men’s side, the runners collectively finished in fourth. Texas native Austen Cannon was the first to cross the finish line with a final time of 18:51.4 for the 6K race.

As a team, Miami completed the 6K in 1:37.27, significantly behind the first-place team and hosting squad in Virginia, who finished with a time of 1:29.03.

“I thought we put in some good work today on both the men’s and women’s side,” Halsey said. “It was great to get a preview of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) course and I think we are walking away having learned a lot.”

The Hurricanes will compete again at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis on Sept. 23. The races will begin at 10:30 a.m.