BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their 2011 seasons today at the VT Alumni Invitational at the Tech Cross Country Course. The meet was not scored as it was utilized as a tune-up for many Tech competitors who ran unattached. Liberty University ’s men and women joined the Hokies and several Tech alumni.
Both the men (six kilometers) and women (four kilometers) raced distances shorter than the traditional college lengths of eight kilometers and six kilometers, respectively.
Leading the way for the Tech men were four freshmen who all competed as unattached runners. Ryan Kuhns led the way as he was fourth in 19:51.14 and Brayden Burleigh was fifth in 19:57.00. They were followed by classmates George Carter in sixth (20:04.86) and Pat Woodford in seventh (20:07.88). Liberty’s Josh MacDonald won the men’s race in 19:26.94.
For the women, sophomore Mary Catherine Sowder ran for Tech and finished third overall in 15:27.98. Freshman Ginny Jones ran unattached and registered a fifth place finish (15:43.41). Sophomore Erika Weidman also ran for the Hokies and was eighth, coming in at 16:27.21. Natalie Hall won the race in 14:52.72 running unattached.
60 total runners competed between the two races, including 28 women and 32 men.
The Hokies return to action in two weeks as they travel to Clemson, S.C., on Sept. 16, for the Clemson Invitational at Musser Farms. Clemson is the host of this year’s ACC Championships to be contested at Musser Farms on Oct. 29.
For updates on Virginia Tech cross country, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Track).