KERNERSVILLE, N.C. - The top three finishers for the VMI men's cross country team finished within three seconds of each other, leading the efforts of the Keydet programs at the HPU VertCross Invitational, contested Friday in Kernersville, N.C. The meet served as VMI's final tune-up before the SoCon Championships.
Jay Broom led the way for the Keydets once again, as he finished 21st with a time of 25:42 over the 8K course. Brandon White (22nd/25:43) and Ryan Drew (25th/25:45) finished close behind, with Kyle Sabourin (44th/26:09) rounding out VMI's top four finishers.
The rest of the Keydet lineup Friday included Micah Ellington (64th/26:26), Jahanzib Shabaz (97th/26:57), Luke Phillips (122nd/27:16), Tripp Fitch (131st/27:27) and Justin Adams (150th/27:48).
As a team, the Keydets finished sixth with 136 points. VMI tied Appalachian State, but dropped one place behind the Mountaineers on a tie-breaker. George Mason and Duke went 1-2 at the event, while VMI bested teams such as Marshall, High Point and Wofford.
"Our top three men were excellent today," said VMI head coach Dr. Drew Ludtke. "Our fourth runner also ran well, but we need to work as a team to move up our #5 and other runners for the next two meets. Jay Broom and Brandon White continue to be excellent leaders, as they pull the team along to great performances."
On the women's side, it was Logan Luckett leading the way for the Keydets once again, as the freshman finished 34th overall in 22:45. Bethany King was 56th in 23:18 over the 6K course, while Kennedy Flynn served as VMI's #3 runner with a 24:24 effort and 112th-place finish.
The rest of the finishers for the VMI women were Kelly Russell (118th/24:28), Christina Hill (179th/26:18) and Brittany Szczepanik (205th/29:40). The VMI women's squad finished 13th of the 20 teams competing at the meet won by Duke, which edged Appalachian State by two points.
"On the women's side, we held out a few key runners for the conference meet," said Coach Ludtke. "Logan Luckett and Bethany King were excellent up front, while Kennedy Flynn and Kelly Russell ran solid races as well. We are looking to put the entire team back together for a solid performance at the SoCon Championships in two weeks. All in all, this was a very competitive meet and our teams are stepping up at the right time."
VMI cross country will return to action Oct. 29, when the Keydets take part in the SoCon Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn. Action gets underway at 10 a.m.