ORLANDO, Fla. – Running at the UCF Black and Gold Challenge on Friday evening in Orlando, Fla., the FGCU men’s cross country team took second place in the 12-team field. Helping the Eagles to their second consecutive second place finish at the 8K event was redshirt sophomore Gilbert Chemaoi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kirobon HS/Eastern Kentucky) and freshman Ryan Stafford (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS), who took 10th and 13th, respectively.
“I thought it was a good showing from the men today,” said fourth-year head coach Cassandra Harbin. “We decided to leave a couple guys at home to rest, which provided an opportunity for a couple other runners to step up this evening. I was really impressed with Ryan, who came through with a good race. Overall, I was pleased with guy’s performance.”
With six top 25 runners in the field of 92, the Green and Blue finished in second place with a team score of 72, three points ahead of FAMU’s 75. A-Sun foe North Florida finished atop the standings with a score of 30.
Chemaoi was the Eagles’ top finisher for the second time this season, this time crossing the finish line at the 26:11.59 mark for 10th place overall. The time was good for 10th on FGCU’s all-time 8K list, in addition to a top five all-time mark for a sophomore (5th).
With his best finish of the season, Stafford placed 13th at the event with a time of 26:22.85. The time also earned the Fort Myers, Fla. product a spot on the all-time freshman list at No. 5 overall.
Finishing just behind Stafford was sophomores Sanders Payne (Weston, Fla./West Broward) and Chris Rudloff (Ormond Beach, Fla./Mainland HS). With a time of 26:33.09, Payne finished 14th overall, just ahead of Rudloff’s 26:33.59, good for 16th place.
Juniors Dillon McGee (Indialantic, Fla./Melbourne HS) and Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy) also finished inside the top 25 at the event. McGee crossed the finish line at the 26:42.12 mark to take 20th, while Lanning earned 25th place with a time of 27:16.95.
Rounding out the Green and Blue squad at the event was junior transfer Alexander Schilling (Dresden, Germany/Sportsgymnasium Dresden/Queens University of Charlotte), freshman Shane Deeley (Clearwater, Fla./Dunedin HS) and senior Max Jones (Key Largo, Fla./Coral Shores). Making his debut for the Eagles, Schilling ran a time of 27:44.30 for 30th place, ahead of Deeley’s 27:57.31 which positioned him 32nd in the field. Jones completed the event with a time of 29:26.08 to place 50th overall.
The Friday competition was the final tune-up before heading to the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29th in Nashville, Tenn. Results and recaps from all FGCU events will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
10. Gilbert Chemaoi - 26:11.59
13. Ryan Stafford - 26:22.85
14. Sanders Payne – 26:33.09
16. Chris Rudloff - 26:33.59
20. Dillon McGee - 26:42.12
25. Jonathan Lanning - 27:16.95
30. Alexander Schilling - 27:44.30
32. Shane Deeley - 27:57.31
50. Max Jones - 29:26.08