FORT MYERS, Fla. – After breaking school records in its tune-up meets, the FGCU cross country teams head to the 2010 Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Milliken Research Park in Spartanburg, S.C. The women open the meet with a 5K at 9 a.m., while the men run an 8K beginning at 10 a.m. in the event hosted by USC Upstate.
"The two weeks of training went very well for both teams leading up to the conference championship,” said head coach Cassandra Harbin. “We have seen significant improvements in workout intensities and everyone is focused and in a positive frame of mind for this weekend's competition. We are looking to improve on our conference finish (eighth – men; seventh – women) from last year.”
Freshman Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) enters his first conference championship as the men’s top runner. He led the Eagles in three of the four meets he ran and broke the school record in two of those. At the Walt Disney World Invitational, Cruz ran a 25:43.10 to top the program record book and break his previous record of 26:06.00, set at the Loyola Invitational on October 2. His time is 14th on the 2010 A-Sun top time list.
Sophomore Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy) has finished on the heels of Cruz in several meets and holds the top-three sophomore records, including his season-best time of 26:07.50 also set at the Walt Disney World Invitational. Classmate Matthew Crowe (Glen Burnie, Md./Brevard CC) represents the final two top times on the sophomore list with his season fastest time of 26:49.90.
Senior Dino Bozzone (Auckland, New Zealand/University of Portland) was the Eagles’ top finisher at the opening meet of the year (Sept. 5). He owns the top two times for seniors, including his fastest time of the season (26.41.00) set at the Loyola Invitational.
The men’s squad finished in eighth out of the conference’s 11 teams in 2009 with 206 points at the Championship with then-senior Kyle Brunette and Lanning pacing the Eagles.
On the women’s side, sophomore Barrie Cohen (Vorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional HS) leads FGCU after setting the school record at the Walt Disney World Invitational with a time of 18:28.10. She was the first to cross the finish line for the Blue and Green in four out of the five meets and her season-best time ranks 18th on the 2010 A-Sun top time list.
Freshman Kelly Perzanowski (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville HS) has been an important part of the squad, leading the Eagles in her first collegiate race and coming in second behind Cohen in three out of the four meets. Her season-best time of 18:44.00 from the Loyola Invitational is fourth fastest time in program history.
The women placed seventh last season with 167 points at the 2009 Championship. Senior Megan Thies (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) paced FGCU with her then-program-record time of 18:55, while then-freshman Shannon Compher (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) finished in 30th with a time of 19:09.
Full coverage of the championships can be found at www.AtlanticSun.org
, including team information, a course map and results after the races.