FGCU Women's Cross Country Set for NCAA Regional Meet
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University’s women’s cross country team heads to Dade City for the NCAA Cross Country South Regional Saturday at Little Everglades Ranch. The 6,000-meter race is scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m.
The 26-team field includes Alabama-Huntsville, Albany State, Arkansas Tech, Augusta State, Central Arkansas, Christian Brothers, Clayton State, Columbus State, Delta State, Harding, Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Francis Marion, Georgia College & State, Lander, Lincoln Memorial, North Carolina-Pembroke, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Saint Leo, Southern Arkansas, defending regional champion Tampa, Valdosta State, West Florida, and West Georgia.
This will be the first time that FGCU has competed as a team in the NCAA regional meet. Last year, Katy Steffan became the first female athlete at FGCU to compete in an NCAA sanctioned championship when she competed as an individual in the 2004 South Region meet. Steffan finished the race in 25:02 to place 63rd.
Seven runners will compete for FGCU, led by Steffan (Naples, Fla.) and sophomore Cadie Sly (Loxahatchee, Fla.). Steffan has overcome a season-long battle with anemia to finish as top runner in two races this fall and holds three of the top-10 times in FGCU program history. Sly, who competed for Stetson a year ago, was the top runner in the other four races this fall en route to recording two of the top-10 times in school history.
Also competing for the Eagles this weekend will be junior Lindsay Garven (Oviedo, Fla.), who has been the No. 3 runner down the stretch for the Eagles, senior Antoinette Savino (Largo, Fla.), the first four-year runner in school history, and freshmen Lyndsey Kelly (Cape Coral, Fla.), Marie Scarpantonio (North Fort Myers, Fla.) and Cindy Watson (Fort Myers, Fla.)
“Our team is excited to run despite missing practice days last week” said head coach Chris Highfield. “They realize the importance of this meet and want to finish the year with a strong showing.”
The South Region is one of eight regionals being held this weekend. The top four teams and two individuals not from those four teams in each regional advance to the Division II Championship meet November 19 at Pomona, California.