PREVIEWING THE MEET
• The Virginia Tech cross country team hosts its second meet of the season, the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Tech Cross Country Course in Blacksburg on Friday, Sept. 14. The women are on the course first as they will race six kilometers at 6:00 p.m. The men’s race is eight kilometers and starts at 6:40 p.m. Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, East Tennessee State, Davidson (men’s only), Concord University, University of Charleston (women’s only) and Bluefield State College are the teams competing. (see page 8 for a course map)
LAST TIME OUT
• The Virginia Tech cross country teams opened up the 2012 season on Aug. 31 with the annual VT Alumni Invitational. The meet was unscored as it was used primarily as a tune-up for the teams as many competitors ran unattached. In the men’s 6k, the lone Hokie wearing the orange and maroon was redshirt junior Brian Welch who finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place with a time of 18:57.52. Notable finishes by Tech runners competing unattached were Pat Woodford who took 9th (18:54.41), Juan Campos in 19th (19:27.55) and George Carter in 21st (19:33.03). Three Hokie women had top-25 times in the women’s 4k. The best time came from freshman Ashley Hayes at 14:38.58 as she finished in 17th place while running unattached. Finishing in 23rd and 24th respectively were Stephanie Cario (15:08.88) and Ginny Jones (15:19.55) who were running attached.ALL-AMERICAN RETURNS
• 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).