RAMS BATTLE ADVERSITY EN ROUTE TO STRONG SHOWING AT PANORAMA FARMS INVITE

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Facing its toughest field of the year and having their top runner suffering from an illness, the Virginia Commonwealth University men's cross country team wasn't exactly under ideal conditions going into the Panorama Farms Invitational, hosted by the University of Virginia.

However, the Rams marched through adversity and posted a strong sixth-place finish, posting five personal bests on the weekend.

"I'm happy with the way my guys ran this weekend," Director of Cross Country Nicole Cook said. "With Walid feeling under the weather, we were facing some adversity, but they ran tough and nearly everyone improved their times."

Senior Piotr Dybas was strong once again for the Black & Gold, posting a season-best of 24:40.24 over the eight-kilometer course. Junior Tyler Simmons was the second highest Ram with a time of 25:37.46.

Sophomore Brenden Leavitt and senior John Vial (pictured, right) were the third and fourth Rams, each posting personal bests with times of 25:54.23 and 26:04.21, respectively.

Andre McLean, Corey Scott, Chris DeRose and Tim Suddeth also tallied personal bests for the Black & Gold at the elite level meet.

The Rams will now take the next two weeks to focus on the CAA Championships, which take place on October 30th on the campus of UNC Wilmington.

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