Dmitriev's 1,500 Leads VMI at Liberty Twilight
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LYNCHBURG, Va. – Andrey Dmitriev finished second in the 1,500-meters and put himself in position to potentially qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Round, headlining VMI track and field’s efforts at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier, contested Wednesday in Lynchburg, Va. The Keydets also saw Jacob Lysher win the men’s 800, while Rachel Sing and Jenna Moye posted runner-up finishes in their respective events.

After the initial two heats of the 1,500 had been contested earlier, the meet closed with an invitational section of that event, including Dmitriev, Big South champion Isaac Wendland of Liberty, Dakota Peachee of High Point and other standouts from the conference and region. Rabbits David Ricksecker and Jarred Cornfield of Liberty took the race out in lightning-quick fashion, running a 57-second opening circuit that saw Dmitriev run third. The Keydet appeared to see that the pace was a bit too quick and backed off shortly into the second lap.

The two rabbits then dropped back slightly and Ricksecker peeled off after 900 meters, leaving Cornfield to pace the field for the third circuit. The brisk pace continued going into the final lap and saw Dmitriev stay within the top three positions throughout. He appeared to be in prime position to win, but on the backstretch of the final lap, Wendland made a move to the outside and took the lead. That appeared to jumpstart a series of attempts at a closing kick, and Dmitriev’s final 50 meters pulled him past Peachee of High Point and into second place, where he crossed the stripe in 3:46.25. That put him in 42nd in the current East Region rankings, and the top 48 runners that declare will make the Preliminary Round meet.

Lysher claimed the Keydets’ lone victory on the day, winning the 800 in 1:53.01. The Big South indoor champion passed three runners in the final 300 meters and held off a late charge by Michael McEnany of Wake Forest to claim the crown.

In other results on the men’s side, Avion Jones finished third in the high jump (2.04 M/6’8 ¼”), where he was bested by archrival Kyle Wheeler of Liberty on misses for the runner-up spot. It was only the second time in seven meetings this season that the victor of the Jones/Wheeler battle failed to win the meet itself.

Hartnel Paultre was also in action, finishing fourth in the 5K (15:18.33) while Joel Hoisington was fourth in the shot put (14.48 M/47’6 ¼”). Finally, Jason Thorpe and Booth Hornsby rounded out their Keydet careers with 13th and 15th-place finishes, respectively, in the 1,500-meters.

On the women’s side, Moye led the way for the Keydets in the final 800-meter race of her career, finishing second in a personal best time of 2:14.96. The race was a battle between Moye and unattached Micah Brickhill, a high school senior committed to run at Virginia next season. Brickhill led going into the final 300 meters and held the inside line, directly against the rail, for the rest of the race. This forced Moye to the outside, where she made several attempts to pass but was unable to do so, and had to settle for a second-place finish. Hannah Dickinson wound up fourth in 2:21.69.

The Keydets also posted a runner-up finish in the javelin, with Rachel Sing stretching the tape to 36.10 meters (118’5), breaking the 36-meter barrier for the third time this season. Sing had not previously surpassed 36-meters in her collegiate career.

In addition, Kate Collins tied for third in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 3.57 meters (11’8 ½”).

VMI track and field returns to action May 10, with qualified Keydets taking part in the IC4A/ECAC Championships in Princeton, N.J.