October 2, 2009

ALL SIX RAMS POST PERSONAL BESTS AT PAUL SHORT INVITATIONAL

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The goal of any team at any level is to get better with each performance.

The Virginia Commonwealth University men's cross country team is doing just that this year as all six runners posted personal best at Friday evening's Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University.

"We continue to make forward progress and improve each week," Head Coach Julian Spooner said. "It's great to see all six guys have their best performances at the same meet. We just need to work on closing the gap between our first and fifth guy, but that will come with time."

For the second straight meet, junior Walid Berkhedle (Toronto, Ontario) led the squad, finishing in the top-40 at one of the East Coast's most prestigious meets. Berkhedle finished the eight-kilometer course in 24:26.

"Walid's been a great addition to this year's team," Spooner commented. "He's come in from being a national force on the Division II level and really challenged our top guys. He'll definitely be in the mix come conference championship time."

Senior Piotr Dybas (Jaslo, Poland) continued his strong campaign with a time of 24:53 to finish in the top-100 of a race that featured nearly 400 runners.

The sophomore tandem Axel Mostrag (Krasnik, Poland) and Tyler Simmons (Manassas, Va.) each clocked in under 26 minutes with times of 25:24 and 25:51, respectively.

Freshman Brenden Leavitt (Virginia Beach, Va.) wrapped up the day for the Rams with a personal best of 26:02 over the eight-kilometer course.

The Rams are back in action in two weeks when they participate in the Tribe Open on October 17th.

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