ORLANDO, Fla. – On Saturday morning the FGCU men’s cross country finished in second place at the 24-team Disney World Cross Country Classic at the Wide World of Sports Complex. In the field of 214 runners, sophomore Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) and redshirt classmate Gilbert Chemaoi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kirobon HS/Eastern Kentucky) led the Eagles, placing 7th and 12th, respectively, in the 8k event.
“The second place finish is very exciting for the team and a great accomplishment,” said fourth-year head Cassandra Harbin. “Argeo and Gilbert looked strong today and competed really well. The conditions this morning were awful, but the team fought through the mud and rain, and was able to come away with a solid finish.”
The second place finish is the team’s best since taking first place at the season-opening FGCU Invitational, and the highest place the team has achieved in an event that featured more than 15 schools this season. With 120 points, the Green and Blue trailed only Drake’s 31 points, as the Bulldogs placed all seven runners in the top 40.
For the third time this season Cruz was the top finisher for the Eagles, this time, taking seventh with a time of 25:55.75. The time set a new season-best for Cruz, while also establishing a new program-record time for sophomores, besting the previous mark of 26:00.80 set by Chemaoi at the Commodore Classic (Sept. 17).
Chemaoi also had another strong race, placing 12th overall with a time of 26:18.01. It marked the third time that Chemaoi and Cruz have finished one-two for the Green and Blue this season.
Junior Dillon McGee (Indialantic, Fla./Melbourne) set a new personal-best time at the event, crossing the finish line in 32nd place with a time of 27:04.76. His previous mark was also set at the Disney Classic, running a time of 27:23.70 last season.
Also contributing to the Eagles’ score were junior Matthew Crowe (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill) and freshman Shane Deeley (Clearwater, Fla./Dunedin HS). Crowe took 34th place with a time of 27:07.45, while Deeley came across the finish line at the 27:22.59 mark.
Rounding out the Green and Blue squad was junior Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy), sophomore Sanders Payne (Weston, Fla./West Broward) and senior Max Jones (Key Largo, Fla./Coral Shores). Finishing back-to-back, Lanning recorded a time of 27:34.45 for 46th, just ahead of Payne’s 47th place time of 27:36.00. Jones concluded the event with a time of 29:47.36.
The Eagles will be back in action in their final tune-up before the A-Sun Championship as they head back to Orlando, Fla. to compete at the UCF Invitational on Friday, Oct. 14 beginning at 6 p.m. Results and recaps from the event will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
7. Argeo Cruz – 25:55.75
12. Gilbert Chemaoi – 26:18.01
32. Dillon McGee – 27:04.76
34. Matthew Crowe – 27:07.45
41. Shane Deeley – 27:22.59
46. Jonathan Lanning – 27:34.45
47. Sanders Payne – 27:36.00
138. Max Jones – 29:47.36