Ryan Grube, Staff Writer
Men’s and women’s cross country opened the season Saturday morning at the 2019 Spider Alumni Open. Near perfect weather conditions at Pole Green Park yielded positive results for both teams.
The men took fourth in the team standings, finishing with 115 total points in the opening 5k race Saturday.
The Rams had a quick start, but didn’t have any runners finish in the top 20. Nicole Cook, director of cross country, said she is encouraged by the team’s performance in its first race.
“I always want them to be able to compete, but this is just the beginning for us,” Cook said. “I’m very happy with the way they executed through the first mile. Now, we just have to work through finishing and getting everybody ready for faster paces.”
Senior Bryce Catlett was the first to cross the line for VCU, finishing 24th with a time of 16:20.0. Catlett was followed by freshman Noah Peterson and sophomore Sean Moulton in 31st and 32nd place. The pair clocked in times of 16:31.8 and 16:34.2, respectively.
Sophomores Archie Blaes and Hisham Vohra rounded out the top five scorers for the Rams.
The women’s side adopted a similar racing style to the men’s on their way to a consecutive fourth-place team finish for the black and gold.
Much like the men’s team, the women began the race with several runners near the lead pack. Cook said she was happy with the team’s commitment to running in groups.
“I’m very pleased with the women for sure,” Cook said. “Everybody did a good job with staying in there and just continuing to pack up throughout the whole race.”
Senior Ashley Brown started the line of VCU finishers for the women in the two-mile race. She finished with a time of 11:37.3 to take home eighth place.
Fellow senior Delaney Savedge was the next Ram to cross the line for her team. Savedge earned a 20th-place finish with her 11:52.9 mark.
Freshmen Kasandra Aulenbach and Reyna Vazquez-Miller and senior Judith White were the final three scorers for VCU, which concluded the meet with 100 total points.
Next up for the Rams is the Mason Invitational at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va., on Sept. 13.
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