VALDOSTA –– The Valdosta State men’s and women’s cross country team kicked off their 2019 season on Friday evening, hosting the annual VSU Border Clash at Freedom Park in Valdosta. VSU’s men finished third with 65 points as sophomore Brishen House and freshman Logan Kraus finished second and third, respectively, in the 7.25k race. VSU’s women finished fourth with 124 points, as junior Angie Cipriani finished ninth in the 5k race.

Coach Todd Smoot was thrilled with his team’s performance, “I was very excited at how both teams did, we are off to our strongest start in years.”

For the men, Khiro Hoilett and Brishen House set personal records in the 7.25k with times of 25.36.9 and 24.11.3 respectively.

Cipriani set a personal record in the 5k for the Lady Blazers, with a time of 19:56.0. On the men’s side, freshman Riley Matlock and sophomore Khiro Hoilett followed House and Kraus finishing 16th and 21st, respectively, with times of 25:15.9 and 25:36.9.

Bringing up the middle of the pack was sophomore Kevin Favard (26:01.3) and junior Nick Flatt (26:03.3) as both made a strong showing, while freshman Josh McLean finished in 26:07.7.

Graduate transfer Nick Rosatti finished in 26:54.0, while freshman Dalton Pender posted a time of 27:15.5.

Finishing strong, freshmen Braedon Bensley and Rio Espinoza ran in 27:18.8 and 27:39.6, respectively. Senior Caleb Watson (27:45.4) and freshmen runners Michael Kelly (28:52.3), Ben Barwick (29:12.0) and Pate King (33:07.3) rounded it out for the men.

For the women, freshman Yasmeen Hammad (21.:42.0), sophomore Kailey Brough (21:30.0) freshman Khamryn Smith (21:56.7) and junior Olivia Rosener (22:08.1) finished in the middle of the pack.

Closing out strong, sophomores Samantha Murray and Makenzee Page finished with 23:21.9 and 23:27.7, respectively, while junior Kaylee Smith (26:18.9) and freshman MaKenzie Sullivan (26:32.0) brought the Blazers home.

Both the men and women return to action at the Mountain Dew Invitational, Sept. 14, in Gainesville, Fla., hosted by University of Florida. Be sure to follow along at vstateblazers.com.

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