NEW MARKET, Va. – The VMI men’s cross country team posted six finishers in the top-17, leading to a runner-up finish Saturday at the JMU Invitational, contested in New Market, Va.
Avery Martin led the way for the Keydets in the 7,900-meter course, timing in at 25:13 to finish seventh. Sean Helmke was eighth in 25:14 with Daniel DeNijs 10th in 25:20. Hartnel Paultre finished 13th, clocking in at 25:23, and Patrick Spahn rounded out VMI’s top five with a 16th-place finish. Spahn crossed the line in 25:35, just over two seconds ahead of Brandon White’s 17th-place result.
The Keydets finished the meet with 48 points, 26 behind event winner Duke. George Mason (62) was third, with Longwood fourth (123) and Concord (142) rounding out the competitors.
“I was ecstatic with the performance of our men today,” said VMI head coach Jennifer Fazioli. “Our team raced well today in a pack, and I thought the final result could have been ever better, but Patrick Spahn started a little too conservatively today. Overall, our top six is very strong and we have great depth throughout our top nine. We were conservative early, aggressive late and finished well coming off two good weeks of training.”
Other VMI finishers included Philip Harpen (26:16/28th), Tyler Richards (26:26/30th), Luke Phillips (26:40/35th) and Micah Ellington (26:49/37th).
VMI cross country will return to action Sept. 26, taking part in the UNCG Spartan Invitational in Kernersville, N.C. Action gets underway at 5 p.m.