Women's Cross Country To Compete in Pre-Regional
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s cross country team will have its second meet on the NCAA South Region Championship course Friday night. The Eagles will compete in the 17-team women’s college division of the flrunners.com Invitational VI at 6:30 p.m.
A mix of Division I, Division II and NAIA schools will comprise this year’s field. This year’s event will be held at the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, which played host to the season-opening Saint Leo Invitational and will host the NCAA Division II South Region Championship meet in November. Normally home to a horse steeplechase course, the all grass course is deceivingly difficult. The course features a slight downgrade until a tough hill on the homestretch.
Led by Katy Steffan’s 20th place finish, FGCU finished 11th of 14 teams in this race a year ago. But FGCU features more team depth than a year ago, and a stronger top-seven. However, Steffan, a 2003 and 2004 regional qualifier, has battled anemia related to an iron deficiency during the past two weeks after finishing in the top-16 in each of the first two meets. Several other Eagles have stepped up their efforts in the first half of the fall season.
Sophomore Cadie Sly (Loxahatchee, Fla.) was the top finisher in last week’s Embry-Riddle/Smoothie King 5-K Classic. Sly (Loxahatchee, Fla.) finished 17th overall in 22:18 for her third straight top-20 finish this year. Freshman April Ward (North Fort Myers, Fla.) placed 21st (22:48) last week and has placed among the top-21 in all three races this fall. Freshman Lyndsey Kelly (Cape Coral, Fla.) was third for the Eagles last week for her best finish of the fall.
The meet is the fourth of six regular season meets for the Eagles.