BLACKSBURG, Va. – Taking a conservative approach and resting several runners, the VMI cross country teams opened the 2018 season strong with solid finishes at the Virginia Tech Invitational on Friday night.
The women’s team placed fourth out of nine schools at the race with 106 points while the men’s team placed fifth of seven schools competing with 127 points. Virginia Tech won the women’s 4k race with 38 points while Liberty took the men’s 6k race with 29 points.
VMI women’s junior Logan Luckett paced the Keydets with a fifth-place overall finish in 15:04 and was followed by teammate Anna Armfield in eighth place in 15:11. Sara Belamarich (35th, 16:04), Emily Hattman (40th, 16:09) and Savanna Shupe (47th, 16:17) also earned team points in their respective finishes.
Kathleen Yates, Isabela Melendez and Brittany Szczepanik also competed on the women’s side.
“I was happy with the start to our season,” said VMI head coach Drew Ludtke. “On the ladies side, Logan Luckett and Anna Armfield ran strong races to finish 5th and 8th overall.
“We are starting a bit conservatively with a mindset to be very healthy in October at the SoCon Championships. I was happy with the effort and the team environment of the opening meet. I was happy with the great fan support and administrative support who showed up to cheer and encourage our athletes. We plan to race a full team at New Market next weekend.”
The men’s team was led by Davone Hernandez who placed 11th overall in 19:07 for eight team points. Carlos Fernandes finished a minute later in 43rd place clocking in at 20:22 before Walt Kitson arrived in 45th in 20:24 for 25 points. Jake Mazziotta (56th, 20:54) and Justin Adams (62nd, 21:05) also scored team points for the Keydets.
Kellen Reeves, Stephen Wolf and Aaron Kempf also ran for the Keydets.
“We only brought our returning athletes and left the rats at home to train two-a-days today and to get a bit more recovery time to get ready for New Market next week,” Ludtke said. “We certainly are in a good place mentally and with strength training compared to last year. I am confident we will have some great results later this season at the SoCon Championships.”
The Keydets return to action next Saturday at the JMU Invite to be held in New Market, Virginia.
VT – 38
Liberty – 60
W&L – 64
VMI – 106
Concord – 149
Charleston – 158
Radford – 176
Longwood – 220
Hollins – 283
Logan Luckett – 5th 15:04 5
Anna Armfield – 8th 15:11 8
Sara Belamarich – 35th 16:04 27
Emily Hattman – 40th 16:09 30
Savanna Shupe – 47th 16:17 36
Kathleen Yates – 50th 16:21 (38)
Isabela Melendez – 57th 16:56 (43)
Brittany Szczepanik – 82nd19:20 xx
Liberty – 29
Charleston – 43
W&L – 82
Concord – 110
VMI – 127
Longwood – 172
Radford – 186
Davone Hernandez – 11th 19:07 8
Carlos Fernandes – 43rd 20:22 23
Walt Kitson – 45th 20:24 25
Jake Mazziotta – 56th 20:54 33
Justin Adams – 62nd 21:05 38
Kellen Reeves – 72nd 21:57 (41)
Stephen Wolf – 76th 22:15 (43)
Aaron Kempf – 86th 23:40 xx