GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Closing the month of September with a trip to the 23rd Annual UF Mountain Dew Invitational on Saturday, the FGCU men’s cross country team finished in seventh place in the 18-team event. Sophomore Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) led the Eagles, finishing 27th overall.
“The men gave a solid effort in today’s race,” said fourth-year head coach Cassandra Harbin. “Some of our younger guys really stepped up this morning and I am happy with the way the team competed as a whole.”
Each member of the Green and Blue placed in the top 100, with seven runners landing in the top 75 in the field of 162 individuals. The Eagles finished with 220 points to take seventh place overall, ahead of FIU’s 229 (8th), USF’s 255 (10th) and FAU’s 313 (11th).
A tight finish saw Michigan take first overall with 42 points, while No. 28 Florida and No. 30 North Carolina were close behind with 46 and 47 points, respectively.
Cruz supplied the best time for the Green and Blue for the second time this season, adding to a first place finish at the season-opening FGCU Invitational. The sophomore ran a time of 26:16.20 on Saturday to finish 27th overall.
Setting a new personal-best, freshman Shane Deeley (Clearwater, Fla./Dunedin HS) finished with a time of 27:17.09 to take 50th overall. The newcomer shaved 22 seconds off his previous best time of 27:39.30 which he set at the Commodore Classic last weekend.
Finishing nearly side-by-side were redshirt sophomore Gilbert Chemaoi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kirobon HS/Eastern Kentucky) and classmate Sanders Payne (Weston, Fla./West Broward HS). Crossing the finish line at the 27:31.57 mark, Chemaoi took 57th place, while Payne came across at 27:32.34 for 58th overall.
Junior Dillon McGee (Indialantic, Fla./Melbourne HS) and sophomore Chris Rudloff (Ormond Beach, Fla./Mainland HS) each finished in the top half of the pack, with times of 27:42.77 (64th) and 27:59.50 (70th), respectively.
Rounding out the squad were freshman Ryan Stafford (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) and junior Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy). Stafford recorded a time of 28:13.15 (74th) and Lanning ran a 28:41.55 (85th).
The Eagles return to the course on Saturday, Oct. 8 with a trip to Orlando, Fla. to compete at the Disney World Cross Country Classic beginning at 7:45 a.m. Results and recaps from the event will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.