|Hokie Open Race|
November 2, 2012
Men’s 6K Race: 4:30 p.m. • Women’s 3 Mile Race: 5:15 p.m.
Tech Cross Country Course • Blacksburg, Va.
PREVIEWING THE MEET
This will be the final tune-up for Virginia Tech before the team heads to the Southeast Regional in Charlotte, N.C. on Nov. 9. Tech is the only team competing in the meet and will be joined in the races by several unattached runners.
Last year’s Hokie Open saw Brayden Burleigh and Stephanie Cario win their respective races.
Burleigh crossed the line first for Virginia Tech in the men’s race, winning by 33 seconds in a time of 18:26.15. Grant Pollock was second overall (18:59.44) and was followed by Joseph Murray (third, 19:03.47) and Chris Walizer (fourth, 19:12.95).
Cario finished the three mile course in a time of 18:10.23 to take the women’s race. Lauren Pinkston followed in second in 18:20.53. Ginny Jones was fourth in 18:48.57, Frances Dowd was sixth in 18:58.97 and Camille Bouvet rounded out Tech’s top-five in seventh (19:07.50).
LAST TIME OUT
Last weekend saw the Tech men complete a pair of firsts for the program as the team earned the program’s first ACC championship. The squad totaled 55 points in the 8k race, besting second-place Virginia by six points. It was the first conference championship for the men’s cross country team since 1997.
Redshirt senior Will Mulherin led Tech as he earned the program its first ACC individual crown, finishing with a time of 23:37.3, nearly five seconds ahead of Florida State’s Breandon O’Neill. It marked the first time since 1999 that a Tech runner has won a conference championship.
Earning All-ACC honors along with Mulherin were sophomores Brayden Burleigh and Thomas Curtin. Burleigh, a late addition to the group, took sixth with a time of 23:54.7. Curtin finished just behind Burleigh in seventh coming in at 23:56.3. It was the first time in their careers that both runners had finished an 8k in under 24 minutes.
Redshirt senior Michael Hammond, Tech’s fourth finisher came in at 19th with a time of 24:27.5. He was followed by Leoule Degfae who took 22nd with a time of 24:32.0.
• On Oct. 27, the Hokie men captured the program’s first ACC title, and first conference championship since 1997.
• The team was led by Will Mulherin’s first-place finish. It was Tech’s first ACC individual crown and first individual conference champion since 1999.
• It was Mulherin’s first win of the season, while it was the Tech’s second team victory of the season.
• Mulherin, Brayden Burleigh and Thomas Curtin earned All-ACC honors. Burleigh finished sixth while Curtin was right behind him in seventh.
• Rounding out Tech’s top five were Michael Hammond in 19th and Leoule Degfae in 22nd.
• The Hokies finished the race with 55 points, six points clear of Virginia.
HOKIES TAKE SIXTH AT PRE-NATS
• In the most competitive field that Tech had seen this season, the Hokie men came away with a sixth place finish great results from Will Mulherin (6th) and Leoule Degfae (19th). Tech topped No. Tulsa as well as several other highly-acclaimed squads en route to the finish at E.P. Tom Sawyer National Park in Louisville, Ky.
• The impressive showing moved the Hokies into the national picture. After previously being unranked, Tech jumped to No. 21 in the national rankings the following week.
HOKIE MEN CLAIM CHARLOTTE INVITATIONAL
• In only their second scored meet of the season, the Hokies earned their first team win of the season at the Charlotte Invitational. The top five runners for the Hokies all finished in the top 11, Will Mulherin and Leoule Degafe finishing second and third. Finishing in eighth, 10th and 11th were Michael Hammond, Ryan Hagen and Kevin Dowd.
TECH IN THE RANKINGS
• In the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) NCAA National Cross Country rankings, the Hokie men are currently ranked No. 17. It marks highest ranking for the team in more than a decade.
• In the Southeast region, the Tech men are second while the women are 11th.
• 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 Sept. 28, Tech will travel to the Charlotte Invitational in Charlotte, N.C., where the team will compete on this year’s regional championship course at McAlpine Park. The women will compete on the exact regional course while the men will run on a shortened version of the regional course.
• 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.
For updates on Virginia Tech cross country, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Track).