@FGCU_XC Preview: Men's 2013 Newcomers
Thursday, August 29, 2013 | by Jason MacBain (@JaBain)
The FGCU men's cross country team welcomes seven newcomers to its 2013 roster.
The FGCU men's cross country team welcomes seven newcomers to its 2013 roster.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – With the 2013 FGCU men’s cross country season officially getting underway this weekend, FGCUAthletics.com previews the seven newcomers to the team, including five freshmen and two transfers.

Head coach Cassandra Goodson has four scholarship runners and three walk-ons out of the seven new runners for the 2013 season.

“We have a pretty large group of athletes that are back from last season,” Goodson said. “This was a very important recruiting class for us in terms of not only finding the best talent out there, but also identifying the type of individuals who fit into our program. I am thrilled with the incoming class. There is a good amount of talent, and I look forward to supporting all of our student-athletes as they pursue their athletic and academic goals.”

Below is more information about each runner, with additional information about each on their respective bio pages. The FGCU men’s cross country team begins its 2013 season Saturday at the Westminster Academy Invite in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., at 5:30 p.m. More information will be posted on FGCUAthletics.com on Friday.

Cortland Bernard
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Sarasota, Fla.
High School: Sarasota Military Academy

High School
Attended Sarasota Military Academy but ran cross country for Sarasota High School … holds the Sarasota HS record in the 3,200 meter and distance medley relay … broke the school record in the two-mile, clocking a time of under 10 minutes … graduated in the top-3 percent of his class from Sarasota Military Academy.

Coach Goodson’s Take: “Courtland is a tremendous student, and a very focused athlete. What first attracted me to Courtland was his potential, how others spoke of his character and his academic credential. I feel like he will continue to develop here at FGCU.”

Austin Boetje
Year: Junior
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
High School: Mill Creek
Previous School: Georgia State University

Georgia State
Transferred from Georgia State University to FGCU following his sophomore season in 2012 … also participated in outdoor and indoor track and field … competed in five meets during the 2012 season ... earned first-place finishes at the GSU Invite and Jaguar Invite ... named the Sun Belt Runner of the Week following his victory at the Jaguar Invite ... saw drastic improvement after setting new personal-best times in the 6K (19:57.57), 8K (25:29.87) and 10K (32:18.0).

Coach Goodson’s Take: “Austin finished alongside our top runner, Argeo Cruz, at the NCAA regional championships last fall. He has a lot of ability, he’s tough and has a spirit about him that is infectious.”

Alex Delle Monache
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Welland, Ontario
High School: E.L. Crossley

High School
Ran for head coach Stuart Galloway at E.L. Crossley … was named an Ontario Scholar … earned Honor Roll recognition.

Coach Goodon’s Take: “Alex is a solid runner who will make our team stronger. He is also an excellent student.”

Nathan Kandie
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Iten, Kenya
High School: St. Patrick’s
Previous School: University of Arizona

University of Arizona
Transferred to FGCU following his freshman season at Arizona in 2012 … during the indoor season, he ran the mile in 4:18.11 at the Husky Classic ... took 23rd at the MPSF Championships, clocking a time of 4:18.43 ... outdoors, he finished in ninth place at the Willie Williams Classic in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:00.99 ... he ran the 1,500-meter run at the Jim Click Shootout, clocking a personal-best time of 4:00.15, good for a 13th-place finish.

Coach Goodson’s Take: “Nathan knows how to compete at a high level. I believe he has the ability to help us right away.”

Charles Bengtson
Year: Freshman
Hometown: West Palm Beach, Fla.
High School: John I. Leonard

High School
Four-year letterwinner and two-year captain of his cross country team coached by Al Jordan … also was a four-year letterwinner and two-time captain in track … as a senior he finished sixth in the state in the 1,600 meter in track … 2013 U.S. Army Reserve Scholar-Athlete Award recipient … All-Palm Beach County First Team for cross country for two years and a second-team member for two years … was also an All-Palm Beach County First Team selection for track and second-team pick in another year … also lettered in swimming for four years and was an All-Palm Beach County First Team member two years.

Mathew Titus
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Marlette, Mich.
High School: Marlette Jr./Sr.

High School
Was an all-state selection in the 4x800 relay … member of the High Honor Roll … academic all-state member … also garnered academic all-conference accolades … coached by Chris Titus.

Jose Cartagena
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
High School: Estero

High School
Four-year cross country letterwinner … all-conference selection as a junior and a senior … named Team MVP in his final year … all-conference member in the 800 meter and 4x800 meter relay as a sophomore and junior … team captain as a sophomore … state champion in the 4x800 relay as a sophomore … helped lead his team to a state championship as a sophomore … team was a state runner-up as a freshman, and he was a state medalist in the 4x800 relay that year … also lettered in track and field … received a certificate of excellence “Senior Elite” as a senior.