DELAND, Fla. – FGCU took part in the 2009 Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championships on Saturday, with the women placing seventh and the men finishing eighth. The women improved two places over last year’s ninth-place finish, while the men dropped one spot compared to last year’s seventh-place finish.
Megan Thies (Brandon, Fla.) paced the women, shattering the school’s 5k record, finishing in 23rd place with a time of 18:55. The previous record, also held by Thies, was 19:10.1, set last year. Shannon Compher (Oviedo, Fla.) wrapped up her strong freshman campaign with a 30th-place finish in 19:09. Freshman Leigh Mumford (Clemson, S.C.) was close behind, finishing in 19:11, good for 32nd place. Barrie Cohen (Voorhees, N.J.), another Eagle freshman, finished in 19:16, placing 36th overall.
"I'm very proud of how well Megan and Shannon performed today," head coach Cassandra Harbin said. "Shannon ran well enough to break the old record, if it weren't for Megan's incredible performance today, which was amazing. For us to come in to the championships ranked ninth in the conference, and to better that by two places, I think that's something they can be proud of."
Kyle Brunette (Venice, Fla.) led the way for the men, finishing 27th with a time of 27:25. Freshman Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla.) placed 36th in 27:43. Joshua Brooks (Fort Myers, Fla.) wasn’t too far behind, finishing in 27:57, good for a 40th place finish.
This marks the conclusion of the 2009 cross country season for the Eagles. One could easily argue that the 2009 season was the most successful in the history of the FGCU cross country program. In addition to Thies breaking the school record at the A-Sun Championships, the women won the Miami Greentree Invitational, their first win since September 2007. The men won two meets, the Flrunners.com Invitational and the inaugural FGCU Invitational, the first two wins in the history of the program. With a strong showing today by quite a few different freshmen, it’s easy to see that the FGCU cross country program is looking to build on this year’s accomplishments next year and in the years to come.