FORT MYERS, Fla. - Hosting an event for just the second time in program history, the FGCU men’s cross country team opened the 2011 season with a first place finish at the FGCU Invitational on Friday evening at Buckingham Property. Sophomore Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) and redshirt sophomore Gilbert Chemaoi (Eldoret, Kenya/Eastern Kentucky) paced the Eagles, finishing in first and second place, respectively, in the 4 mile race.
“It was great to start off the year with a victory at home, especially in front of such a large group of supporters this evening,” said fourth-year head coach Cassandra Harbin. “Coming off a tough week of training I wasn’t sure how the guys would open the season, but I am pleased with the result tonight and happy to come away with a win to begin the year.”
The Eagles took first place with a total of 30 points, while Miami finished in second with 38. FIU registered 55 points to take third and FAU recorded 102 to place fourth overall.
Cruz finished with a time of 20:25.10, just ahead of Chemaoi’s 20:39.80. Among the 33 runners, sophomore Chris Rudloff (Ormond Beach, Fla./Mainland HS) finished in sixth place with time of 21:05.00 and freshman Shane Deeley (Clearwater, Fla./Dunedin HS) came across at the 21:12.50 mark for eighth place. Sophomore Sanders Payne (Weston, Fla./ West Broward HS) finished in 13th place with a time of 21:31.30 and junior Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy) took 14th, crossing the finish line at the 21:40.00 mark.
Additionally, junior Dillon McGee (Indialantic, Fla./Melbourne HS) finished 20th with a time of 22:13.40. Sophomore Matthew Crowe (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill HS) and freshman Ryan Stafford (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) each crossed the finish at 23:32.30 mark. Rounding out the Eagles’ squad, senior Max Jones (Key Largo, Fla./Coral Shores HS) recorded a time of 23:55.50.
The Eagles now prepare for a trip to Nashville, Tenn. to compete at the Commodore Classic hosted by Vanderbilt on Saturday, September 17 beginning at 9 a.m. The Classic will provide an opportunity for the Green and Blue to preview the course which will host the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference championship in late October.