Kennedy, Goldman claim titles at Hokie Invite

Results from the Hokie Invite

Women's 4K race

Men's 6K race

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech’s Katie Kennedy and Andrew Goldman claimed individual cross country titles at the season-opening Hokie Invite held Friday evening at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course on the university’s campus.

“This was almost a preseason scrimmage for us,” Tech cross country coach Ben Thomas said. “Nothing counts until after Sept. 8 in terms of NCAA qualifying. We got out of it what we wanted, which was a pack effort from the girls. I told them to run a relaxed first mile and then just keep six together at the line, and that’s what they did. They looked pretty good doing it, so I’m encouraged by their start. We’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s as good a start as we’ve had.

“The men, we didn’t run five in uniform because a lot of the guys raced late this summer, so we didn’t want to open up until the next home meet in a couple of weeks. But the guys that did race … we had a lot of freshmen and got the opportunity to see where they are coming off the summer, and it was solid. I think everyone has a chance to do really well at the end of October, which is when it counts.”

Behind Kennedy, the Tech women’s team swept the top six spots at the meet en route to the team title. Kayla Richardson came in second, followed by Sara Freix, Amanda Swaak, Alyssa Shupe and Ellie Brush, who ran unattached. The Hokies finished with 15 points, beating Radford, VMI and Washington and Lee, who all finished with 80 points. Concord rounded out the field.

The win marked the first of Kennedy’s career. The senior – the Hokies’ lone senior – from Springfield, Virginia finished second on two occasions last season when she ultimately became the Hokies’ lone All-ACC runner. In this race, she ran the 4K course in a time of 14 minutes, 53 seconds on a chilly evening.

On the men’s side, Goldman won the second race of his career. The redshirt junior from Herndon, Virginia won the Hokie Open last November, and this time, cruised to victory in the 6K race with a time of 18:30.7. He won by 3.3 seconds over teammate Andrew Eason and beat out 69 other runners at the meet.

Tech freshman Ben Fleming, running unattached, came in fifth with a time of 18:48.9. Three other freshmen – Osman Humeida, Will Griffen and Bashir Mosavel-Lo – also ran unattached and finished in spots 7-9, respectively.

Since all but four of Tech’s runners ran unattached, the Hokies did not record a team score in the men’s race. Concord wound up winning, followed by VMI, Radford, Washington and Lee and Longwood.

Both Virginia Tech cross country teams return to action in two weeks when the Hokies compete in the Virginia Tech Alumni Invite. The alumni race starts at 5:30 p.m., with the women’s 6K race starting at 6 and the men’s 8K race beginning at 6:40.

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