Steffan leads Women's Cross Country team at Disney
ORLANDO, Fla. – Katy Steffan has persevered under tough conditions all fall. But something about being at the Magic Kingdom brings out her best.
Steffan overcame a season-long battle with anemia to lead the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s cross country team to a 21st place finish at the 10th Annual Walt Disney World Cross County Classic on Saturday.
Eagles head coach Chris Highfield wasn’t surprised that his junior stand out set a season-best with a time of 20:55 over the 5-K course where she set the school record of 19:40 last year. But he was shocked with how she accomplished it.
“She told me she felt that she could get back on track despite battling her illness,” said Highfield. “But what I didn’t know was just 400 yards into the race she lost her left shoe and ran the entire race with just one shoe. It was the one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen.”
Sophomore Cadie Sly was second for FGCU with a time of 21:17 while junior Lindsey Garven ran a career-best 21:37, beating her previous personal record by 26 seconds.
“Cadie continues to run well and Lindsey Garven ran unbelievable,” said Highfield. “She has been totally focused as of late and it is paying off out on the race course.”
Freshman Marie Scarpantonio (21:56) tied her season-best to run fourth for the Eagles while classmate April Ward (21:59) overcame a rib injury to finish fifth on the team. Freshmen Cindy Watson (22:20) and Lyndsey Kelly (22:34) completed the Eagles top seven. Junior Lindsay Gualario (22:41) ran a career-best. Senior Antoinette Savino (28:32) continues her comeback from injury.
The University of Florida handily captured the team title with 39 points after placing their top five runners in the top-11. Florida Atlantic (150 points) had three of the top-25 finishers to edge Tampa (152) for second place. Allison Macsas of Tampa was the top college runner with a time of 17:34.
FGCU competes in their final regular season meet at the Stetson Hatter Invitational on Friday night.