– Behind record-breaking times from freshman Argeo Cruz
and sophomore Jonathan Lanning
, the FGCU men’s cross country team finished in sixth place at the Mt. Dew Invitational hosted by the University of Florida on Saturday morning.
“I feel like they really stepped it up and went out there and competed against some of the best schools in the state and region,” said head coach Cassandra Harbin. “It was nice to see our times get better especially against tough competition. It’s a huge improvement for the program and what we hope continues throughout the season.”
The race host Florida won the event that featured 19 teams from around the state of Florida. The Eagles earned 175 points as six Eagles placed in the top 50 of the 201-member race. FGCU improves on its 2009 finish of 11th and improved its average running time by almost two minutes.
Cruz paced the Eagles with a time of 26:09.42 to finish in 20th. His time broke the top freshman record previously held by Ian McParland (27:15.0) set in 2007 and was just hundredths of a second behind the school record for the men’s 8K (26:08.89).
Finishing in 36th, Lanning set the sophomore 8K record with a time of 26:40.12. Current teammate senior Joshua Brooks had the previous record of 27:06 set at the 2008 Atlantic Sun Championship.
Sophomore Matthew Crowe and Chris Rudloff were the next two finishers for the Eagles. Crowe crossed the finish line at 27:04.30 for a 47th-place finish with Rudloff (27:05.83) right on his heels in 48th.
Senior Dino Bozzone and redshirt freshman Gilbert Chemaoi placed 49th and 50th, respectively. The Eagles’ top finisher in the first race, Bozzone (27:06.80) took 49th and Chemaoi (27:09.04) rounded out the top 50 finishers.
FGCU now gets two weeks to prepare or the Sean Earl Loyola Lakefront Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 2 in Chicago, Ill.