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Buda Paces Lady Flames at Hokie Open

November 7, 2014
|  Blacksburg, Va.
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Senior Stephanie Buda led the Lady Flames with a ninth-place finish at the Hokie Open on Friday.

Competing in the final race of her collegiate cross country career, Liberty senior Stephanie Buda served as the Lady Flames' No. 1 runner at Friday afternoon's Hokie Open. She placed ninth overall at the low-key meet at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course.

The women's 4K featured only runners from host Virginia Tech and Liberty, and the Hokies recorded a 15-45 victory over the Lady Flames.

Buda made a successful return to the site of her first collegiate competition, the 2011 Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational. The Cleveland, Ohio native clocked a 4K time of 15:53.4 for ninth place in the field of 16 women's runners. She was followed closely by freshman teammate Jennifer Tartini, who placed 10th in 15:54.8.

Another freshman, Alyssa Karle, was next for Liberty. She covered the course in 16:10.4 for the 11th position. Mary Cate Cooper, another senior closing out her collegiate cross country career, finished 12th with a time of 16:27.5.

Redshirt sophomore Kaitlyn Hutchins (13th place, 16:37.3), redshirt freshman Hannah Scherlacher (14th place, 16:39.5) and freshman Heather Wyatt (15th place, 16:51.4) rounded out the Lady Flames' performances.

Liberty did not enter any runners in the men's 6K, but Flames graduate assistant Jaiden Brandt placed third out of 25 entrants with a time of 18:50.9, competing unattached.

Liberty's next meet will be the 2014 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships, Nov. 14 at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The meet, which will determine the qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, will begin with the women's 6K at noon. The men's 10K race will follow at 1 p.m.