BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech men’s cross country team entered the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country national coaches poll this week at No. 21. The Hokies also moved up to third in the Southeast region. Both rankings are the highest of the season for Tech as the squad continues to make its push toward the ACC Championships.
On Saturday, the Hokies took on its toughest field of the season at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky., where five teams were ranked USTFCCCA national poll. Tech finished sixth, topping previously No. 9 Tulsa, after the team again received strong performances from redshirt senior Will Mulherin and junior Leoule Degfae. Mulherin finished in sixth place with an 8K time of 23:20.5, which earned him ACC Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week honors. Degfae turned in a 19th-place finish after coming in just under 26 seconds back of his teammate.
Two weeks earlier the squad earned its first team title of the season at the Charlotte Invitational. Tech had five runners finish in the top 11, led by both Mulherin and Degfae who finished second and third. Redshirt senior Michael Hammond took eighth while senior Ryan Hagen and junior Kevin Dowd placed 10th and 11th.
According to the rankings, this Tech’s strongest squad in more than decade as the team gears up for the ACC Championships on Oct. 27 at the Tech Cross Country Course in Blacksburg. The Hokies will be looking to improve upon their best finish at the conference meet, which is currently a third-place result.
For updates on Virginia Tech cross country, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Track).