WINCHESTER, Va. — The Southern Virginia University cross country teams placed well on Saturday at the Shenandoah Commonwealth Challenge. The Knights continue to show significant progress as the men finished third and the women finished fifth.
"Our men's team ran one minute faster than any previous Southern Virginia team on the 6K course with our top-five finishers so I was pleased to see that progression," said Head Coach Kyle Chandler. "All five runners are now in the top-10 fastest times on that 6K course. They ran hard as a team and ran well after a tough week of practice."
The men were led in the 6K by senior Mike Myers who finished 2nd overall with an impressive time of 19:07. Behind Myers was freshman Murray Bingham in 7th for Southern Virginia. Bingham's time of 19:39 is the fastest in program history by a freshman at the Commonwealth Challenge, beating Myers' record of 19:48 set in 2014. Freshman Kazdyn Chandler finished third for the Knights with a 14th place finish and a time of 20:10.1. Caden Eskelsen and Joseph Morphonios completed the top-five for the team finishing 40th and 57th overall.
Sophomore Jill Westman led the women with a ninth place finish in the 5K and the third fastest time in program history at the meet. Westman came through the mile in 23rd but gradually moved up as the race progressed and finished in 20:17.
"Today our women's team struggled a bit with focusing on the task at hand," said Chandler. "Despite the struggle, and a tough week of practice, they were able to finish 5th out of 17 teams in the Virginia Commonwealth Challenge."
The Knights also finished ahead of two teams currently ranked in the top ten of the NCAA South/Southeast Region in Catholic and Christopher Newport on Saturday. Freshman Sophie Dryden contributed to that cause with a time of 20:37 and a 12th place finish as well as sophomore Jessica Simpson who added an 18th place finish. Tayma Vanek and Brittany Barton rounded out the top-five for the Knights with 52nd and 56th place finishes.
The Knights will return to competition on October 5th when they travel to Kentucky for the Louisville Cross Country Classic.