Track Reunion Brings Back Athletes, Honors Coaches

Former VMI track athletes and coaches gather for a photo

Track reunion attendees gather for a group photo in the Moody Hall activities room Feb. 25, 2023.—Photo by Joe Czekner, VMI Alumni Agencies.

Over the weekend of Feb. 25–26, 2023, approximately 65 former track and field athletes and their guests returned to post for the Keydet Club’s second annual track and field reunion. Those attending spanned almost 60 years of Keydet athletic history, representing the Classes of 1964 to 2022.

The event, which was held in conjunction with the 2023 Southern Conference Indoor Track Championships, was a chance for attendees to share fellowship with former teammates, observe current cadet-athletes in action in the Corps Physical Training Facility, and in many cases, reunite with a former coach. Two legendary former coaches, Wade Williams and retired U.S. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Michael “Mike” Bozeman, attended the event as well.

Joining the former athletes and coaches were Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent, and the entire track and field staff, including Zack Scott ’89, director of track and field.

After the first day of competition, track and field alumni had the opportunity to gather in Moody Hall for a cocktail reception and dinner. Offering brief remarks after the meal were Andrew Deal ’12, Keydet Club chief operating officer; Wins; and Gene Scott ’80, a member of the VMI Board of Visitors and a former track and field athlete. Scott, who was coached by Williams as a cadet-athlete, presented Williams and Bozeman with tokens of appreciation for their years of service to the Institute and their mentorship of cadet-athletes.

Bozeman, director of track and field and cross-country for 23 years (1985–2008), led the Keydets to 12 conference championships and helped to begin women’s athletic programs at VMI. During his time as director, he was named conference coach or co-coach of the year 13 times and also served as commandant of the Corps of Cadets from June 1994–July 1996. Bozeman was recently inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame.

Williams, head coach from 1974–85, led his teams to 16 state or Southern Conference titles from 1978–85 and was named SoCon coach of the year three times, in 1976, 1979, and 1983. He was elected to the VMI Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

“Our sports program reunions continue to be well-received, and the hope is that as we continue to host these opportunities for former VMI cadet-athletes to get back to VMI, they become more and more well-attended,” said Deal. “We’ve consistently seen alumni from the 1950s through new graduates come back to attend, and it’s been great to see everyone interact with cadet-athletes, coaches, and Institute leadership. These are great engagement events that the Keydet Club is proud to host.”

Over the course of the event, attendees had good reason to celebrate the accomplishments of current cadet-athletes, as there were many strong showings in the SoCon championships. The Keydet men’s team placed fourth, with 96.33 points, and the women’s team placed seventh, with 38.33 points.

Keyandre Midgett ’24 earned the Southern Conference’s Heath Whittle Award for most outstanding athlete at the SoCon Indoor Track Championships Feb. 25–26.—Photo courtesy VMI Keydets.

At the conclusion of the event, Keyandre Midgett ’24 was named the SoCon’s Male Most Outstanding Field Performer. He earned the Heath Whittle Award (most outstanding athlete) after winning the triple jump and placing second in both the long jump and the 60-meter hurdles. Midgett is VMI’s second straight winner of the Heath Whittle Award, following Jordin Poindexter ’22 in 2022, and is the Keydets’ first Most Outstanding Field Performer since 2016.

In addition, Andrew Granger ’24 won the individual title in the weight throw by placing first with a personal-record distance of 16.78 meters, while Herbert Brooks ’23 came in third with a personal-best mark of 16.68 meters.

The VMI foursome of Xander Topos ’25, Richard Edwards ’25, Trent Whittaker ’23, and Nick Brown ’25 came away with a second-place time of 3:18.04 in the 4×400 relay to secure All-Conference honors.

Liam McBride ’24 placed third in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.20 seconds, just ahead of Topos’ eighth-place time of 8.68 seconds.

Brown earned a second-place time of 48.25 seconds in the 400-meter finals ahead of Topos’ sixth-place mark of 49.95 seconds. Edwards also showed well in seventh place for the event in 50.01 seconds.

Whittaker arrived in third place in the 800-meter finals with a time of 1:52.94 to earn All-SoCon honors for the event.

For the VMI women, Eleyah Armstrong ’25 won her second event of the meet by coming in first in the 60-meter dash with a school record time of 7.56 seconds, beating the time of former Keydet great Kerisha Goode ’18 of 7.58 seconds from the 2018 indoor season. Armstrong took first in the long jump on the first day of the meet.

Taylor Hill ’26 finished tied for second in the pole vault event with a height of 3.55 meters.

In the 400-meter dash finals, Heaven Hall ’26 placed seventh overall in 58.41 seconds, and Jenna Kirkland ’24 came in seventh overall in the weight throw with a personal record distance of 13.68 meters.

Gretal Shank ’25 competed in the 800-meter final and arrived in seventh overall in 2:18.45.

  • Mary Price

    Mary Price Development Writer/Communications Specialist

    The development writer plays a key role in producing advancement communications. This role imagines, creates, and produces a variety of written communication to inspire donors to make gifts benefiting VMI. Utilizing journalistic features and storytelling, the development writer will produce content for areas such as Annual Giving, stewardship, and gift planning.