PREVIEWING THE MEET
- The Virginia Tech cross country team opens its 2012 season as the Hokies host the VT Alumni Invitational at the Tech Cross Country Course in Blacksburg on Friday, Aug. 31. The women are on the course first as they will race four kilometers at 6:00 p.m. The men’s race is six kilometers and starts at 6:45 p.m. Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke, Liberty and Radford are the teams competing.
LAST YEAR’S ALUMNI INVITE
- Last year’s VT Alumni Invitational on Sept. 2, 2011, was an unsocred meet used primarily as a tune-up meet for many of Tech’s younger runners as they were competing unattached. Leading the way for the Tech men were Ryan Kuhns finishing fourth in 19:51.14 and Brayden Burleigh in fifth at 19:57.00. They were followed by George Carter in sixth (20:04.86) and Pat Woodford in seventh (20:07.88). For the women, Ginny Jones ran unattached and registered a fifth place finish (15:43.41). Current cross country assistant coach Natalie Hall won the race in 14:52.72 running unattached.
- Redshirt senior Will Mulherin returns after earning All-America honors a year ago. On at the 10k course at the LaVerne Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind., Mulherin ran a career-best time of 29:58.1.
- With the feat, he became Tech’s first All-American since 1989 (Brian Walter), which was also the last time a Hokie ran at the NCAA meet.
-The Hokie men welcome back all seven competitors from last season’s squad that took fourth at the Southeast Regional. The team includes All-American Will Mulherin and All-Region performer, Michael Hammond.
TAKING A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
- Sophomore Sara Rapp was one of the top performers on last years women’s team, leading the team at both the Charlotte Invitational and the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational.
- This season, Virginia Tech will have the opportunity to train on the conference’s championship course as Virginia Tech will host the ACC Championship on Oct. 27.
- On Oct. 13, the Hokies will travel to the Louisville Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky., where they will compete on the course that will host the NCAA Championship.
- In the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) Preseason NCAA Regional Cross Country rankings, the Hokie men are ranked fourth in the Southeast Region while the women are sixth.
- With the departure of Jennifer McGranahan as the assistant cross country coach, former Tech athlete and volunteer assistant coach Natalie Hall has assumed the role.
- Hall ran under Coach Thomas for five years and owns school records in the 5k and mile. In 2009, she earned All-American honors in the mile.
- Redshirt freshman Darren Barlow, sophmore Brayden Burleigh, redshirt senior Michael Hammond (Midlothian High School; Midlothian, Va.)
- Redshirt junior Jared Berman and junior Taylor Crosson (James W. Robinson High School; Fairfax, Va.)
- Junior Grant Pollock and redshirt junior Brian Welch (Mills Godwin High School; Richmond, Va.)
- Juniors Courtney Dobbs and Madalyn Nuckols (Deep Run High School; Glen Allen, Va.)
- Juniors Paige Kvartunas and Alex Watt (West Springfield High School; Springfield, Va.)
For updates on Virginia Tech cross country, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Track).