BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University men's cross country team held the program's first home opener Saturday morning hosting NCAA Division III Hampden-Sydney College for a rare dual match.
Hampden-Sydney runners recorded four of the meet's top six finishes defeating Southern Virginia on its challenging home course—featuring several steep hills, loose gravel, and one large fallen tree—23-34.
Southern Virginia's top three times came from freshmen runners Ryan Hatch (Orem, Utah), Jefferson Chandler (West Linn, Ore.) and Jacob Smoot (Bakersfield, Calif.) who came in second (20:09), fifth (21:25) and sixth (21:57) respectively.
Chandler's fifth-place overall finish did not count towards Southern Virginia point total, however, as the freshman competed Saturday as an unattached runner.
The Knights were also missing senior captain Casey Mundell (Dededo, Guam) on Saturday who sat out the race with an injured hamstring.
Returning sophomore Chris Werner (Mansfield, Texas) came in seventh overall, sixth among attached runners at 22:37. Senior Tyson Babbel (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was not far behind, crossing the finish line 20 seconds later for the meet's ninth-best time.
Ivan Ramirez closed out the scoring for the Knights with a time of 36:42—good for 14th overall and 11th among attached runners.
"I was proud of our overall performance," said first-year head coach Logan Davis. "We were missing some guys due to injury and illness, but I thought our freshman looked very strong today on this tough course."
Men's cross country competes again next Saturday, Sept. 10 in the Washington and Lee Invitational at 10 a.m.