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BOONE, NC - The VMI men’s and women’s cross country teams were led by sophomore Anthony Harris and junior Amber Blain who each placed highest for the Keydets in the Blue Ridge Mountain Open hosted by Appalachian State University on Friday, October 15.

Harris placed 25th in the four-mile run with a 20:59 clocking to lead the men to a fifth place finish in the 10-team field with 138 points. Meanwhile, Blain placed 17th in the 5k race with a time of 19:49 to pace the women’s team.

“The guys ran a solid race,” said VMI coach Paul Spangler, who was pleased with how his team progressed from the previous week. “Davidson and Western Carolina had beat us last week by less than 30 points. We fell short of our goal by 20 points. However we did close the gap against those two schools.”

Four other Keydets placed in the top 50 for the men including freshman Donnie Mikels who ran the course in 21:10 for 29th place and sophomore Graham Forbes who produced a 21:31 clocking for a 40th place finish. Sophomore Edwin Lugo and Kurt Able placed 42nd and 50th respectively. Lugo ran the course in 21:33 while Able had a 21:49 clocking.

Spangler was also pleased with the women’s results, citing Blain’s performance. “Amber Blain ran a nice race on the women's side,” Spangler said.

Freshman Ania Najda was the next highest finisher for the women’s team after placing 24th with a time of 20:03.

Both the men and women compete next at the Big South Championships in Greeneville, NC on Saturday, October 30th. The women start at 10:00 am and the men start at 10:45 am.