The UVa Wise men's cross country were pitted against a higher level of competition than typically in past years. The race included Division I Radford University, and a slew of strong, established Division II schools. Race conditions provided another challenge with heat and high humidity slowing the pace considerably (In 2011 the median 8K time was 29:03, in 2012 it was 29:54). Overall UVa Wise finished 8th of 9 schools, while Radford claimed the victory.
Matt Parker (33rd, 30:14) and Tyler Morris (35th, 30:31) had the best season openings of their careers. They started well (despite Parker's shoe getting partially pulled off in the crowded start) and they then maintained pace throughout the race. Freshmen Sean Johnson (45th, 31:54), Josh Willcuts (49th, 33:03), and Jake Garman (50th, 33:10) all ran very conservatively as they began the learning curve to transition from the high school 5K distance to the college 8K. This competitive race provided an effective trial by fire for them. Landry Mullins (52nd, 34:01), fighting a knee injury, also ran with care. While Christian Bresnock (DNF) very intelligently pulled out at the two mile mark with an Achilles Tendon injury. Pulling out quickly avoided aggravating the injury and he should be back to perform again soon.