FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU cross country teams will close the month of September with a trip Gainesville, Fla. to compete in the 23rd Annual UF Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by Florida on Saturday morning. The men’s 8k event will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the women’s 5k race at 8:30 a.m.
“The teams are excited to compete at the University of Florida Invite this weekend,” said fourth-year head coach Cassandra Harbin. “Both Florida and North Carolina cross country teams are nationally-ranked and there are a number of other really good programs attending, so it should provide some very strong competition for each of our teams.”
The Eagles will be competing with 20 other collegiate programs, including Bethune-Cookman, Charlotte, Florida, FAU, FIU, Jacksonville, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, USF, Stetson and UCF. In the latest release of the USTFCCCA National Poll, UNC checked in at No. 15 in the women’s rankings and No. 30 in the men’s, while the host Gators stand at No. 25 and No. 28, respectively, in the women’s and men’s polls.
This weekend will mark the eighth time the Eagles have competed in the event. The men’s top finish came just last season, taking sixth place in the field of 19 behind record-breaking times from sophomore Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS), 26:09.42, and junior Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy), 26:40.12, who each set top times for their respective classes.
Meanwhile, the women’s team has finished seventh overall in both the 2010 (22 teams) and 2007 (19 teams) seasons. Earning 25th and 28th, respectively, junior Barrie Cohen (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional HS), 18:42.38, and sophomore Kelly Perzanowski (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville HS), 18:49.06, each broke the 5K school record of 18:55.00 at the event last season.
The Green and Blue return to the course a week removed from the Commodore Classic hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Finishing 10th in the field of 22, the men’s team was led by redshirt sophomore Gilbert Chemaoi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kiroban HS/Eastern Kentucky) and Cruz, who placed 22nd and 23rd with back-to-back times of 26:00.80 and 26:01.90 in the 8k race.
Taking ninth in a 23-team field, the women’s team was paced by Cohen and Perzanowski last weekend. Cohen took 36th with a time of 19:04.40, while Perzanowski crossed the finish line at the 19:17.10 mark to take 44th among the 194 individuals.
Results and recaps from both races at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com at the conclusion of the event.