NEW MARKET, Va. - Jay Broom won the individual title and Brandon White finished second, as the VMI men's cross country team went 1-2 at the JMU Open, contested Saturday morning in New Market, Va.
Broom crossed the line in 26:18.30 to win the first individual cross country title of his collegiate career, and in the process, become the first Keydet to win a men's race longer than 5K since Noah Hagos won the 8K Furman Invite in 2011. White was one spot behind Broom in 26:26.60 over the 7,900-meter course, and true freshman Ryan Drew was seventh in 26:57.20.
The remainder of VMI's top five was Avery Martin, as the redshirt senior made his season debut with an 11th place finish (27:37.70) and Luke Phillips, who placed 15th in 27:51.80.
"Our teams looked great today," said VMI head coach Dr. Drew Ludtke. "The weather conditions were very challenging, and our teams responded well. Jay Broom and Brandon White ran very smart races, and Ryan Drew had another solid race to finish as our #3. Avery Martin also did well in his season opener. This was another building race for our men's team, as we held out a few runners who will help us look even stronger in upcoming meets."
The rest of VMI's finishers were Tripp Fitch (16th/28:04.50), Luke Lysher (22nd/29:39.50) and Micah Ellington (23rd/29:39.90).
As a team, the Keydets finished with 30 points and placed second to champion George Mason (27 markers). Longwood (91) and Christendom College (104) rounded out the team standings.
Saturday's race marked the first time since October of 2014 (WCU Catamount Classic) that VMI had placed three runners in the top 10 of a race. Interestingly, White was also a part of that trio as he placed sixth in that race.
VMI cross country will return to action Friday, when the Keydets take part in the Virginia Tech Alumni Invite in Blacksburg.