BLACKSBURG, Va. - Jahanzib Shahbaz led the VMI cross country team for the second consecutive race, as the Keydets finished seventh overall at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invite, contested Friday in Blacksburg, Va.
Shahbaz timed in at 26:06 to finish 44th overall on the 8K course, 21 seconds ahead of Justin Adams' 58th-place result (26:27). Kyle Sabourin was 62nd in 26:46 and Davone Hernandez placed 63rd with the same time. Micah Ellington rounded out the Keydets' top five with a 77th-place finish (27:25).
As a team, the Keydets finished seventh in the race won by the homestanding Hokies. VMI finished directly between the other Division I teams and non-Division I teams, scoring 224 points to finish shy of Akron's 109 markers.
Virginia Tech (36), Florida State (55), ETSU (96), Morehead State (96) and Ohio (105) were the other teams to best VMI, while Lynchburg (271), Roanoke (278), Bridgewater (295), King (336) and Ferrum (390) finished well back.
"Overall, we have a very young men's team that is going to need the entire season to develop to be fully competitive," said VMI head coach Dr. Drew Ludtke. "I think at the end of October, the team will be transformed and look like a great squad. At the moment, we are trying to get fit and adapt to the workouts. Today, our top four finishers ran solid races. We have a lot of talent on the course that is young, and will be very strong over the next few years with this squad."
The other Keydets to finish in the top 100 were Carlos Fernandez (87th/27:48), Jake Mazziotta (88th/27:51), Jackson Betts (92nd/28:06), Jay Broom (94th/28:09), Daniel Brewster (96th/28:11) and Adam Roberto (97th/28:11).
VMI cross country will return to action on Sept. 30, when the Keydets competed at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky.