BLACKSBURG – Cross country returned to Blacksburg Wednesday night as the Hokies hosted their season opener at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course. Both the men’s and women’s teams dominated the top ten in the Virginia Tech Invitational, dominating the top ten in both races.
In the women’s 4k race, eight Hokies finished in the top ten, led by junior Lindsey Butler who clocked a time of 14:18.70 to take second place, followed by Grace Boone in third and Ashley Smith in fourth.
After the women’s race, the men took to the course for the 6k. Hokies went four-wide at the finish line as Ben Fleming crossed first in 19:07.30, with Antonio Lopez Segura, Tyler Leeser, and Dave Whitfield all finishing within a second of the leader.
“I think it was a good, collective effort, and certainly some people showed some improvement from years past which is great,” Head Cross Country and Distance Coach Eric Johannigmeier said. “We just have to keep moving up as a whole because that will be our strength if we can move up as a pack.”
A strong start to the season is a promising sign for the Hokie, as competition will toughen and the pace will quicken heading towards the postseason.
The Hokies will stay in Blacksburg for their next race, hosting the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational Friday, Sept. 10. An open community and alumni 4k is set for 5:30 p.m. followed by men’s and women’s competition starting at 6 p.m.
Hokies in the Top Ten in the VT Invitational
- Lindsey Butler – 14:18.70 3. Grace Boone – 14:21.20 4. Ashley Smith – 14:22.20 5. Hannah Ballowe – 14:23.90 7. Leigha Torino – 14:28.70 8. Nicole Re – 14:33.21 9. Lauren Petranek (unattached) – 14:36.71 10. Ellie Brush – 14:38.30.
- Ben Fleming – 19:07.30 2. Antonio Lopez Segura – 19:07.70 3. Tyler Leeser – 19:07.70 4. Dave Whitfield – 19:08.20 5. Colby Burcham – 19:14.00 6. Will Mackenzie – 19:14.70 8. Arnav Tikhe (unattached) – 19:24.90 9. Declan Rymer (unattached) – 19:25.20 10. Clint Gault – 19:34.30.