GAINESVILLE, Fla. - While coming off one of the best weekends in school history, the Florida Gulf Coast cross country teams continued on their previous success. Competing in the Gator Invitational, the women's squad placed 11th out of 20 teams, while the men's team placed 12th in the field of 17.
Abbie Zaspel (Burlington, Wisconsin) led FGCU with a 19:32.97 mark on the 5K course, establishing a new school record. Zaspel's performance on Saturday, also reset her FGCU freshman 5K record. "Abbie ran a spectacular race, she was focused all week and was out to make a statement today," said Head Coach Chris Highfield. "Abbie has had an incredible start to the season as she continued to lead our women's team for the third straight week." Junior Cadie Sly (Loxahatchee, Fla.) finished with a time of 20:07.85 while freshmen Casey Hasten (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Christina Slayman (Titusville, Fla.) also completed the course in under 21 minutes. Hasten posted a mark of 20:21.71 while Slayman finished at 20:54.08. Senior Katy Steffan (Naples, Fla.) was the other Eagle to score in the meet with a time of 21:36.26.
The Eagles finished in 11th place out of 20 teams in the field, with a combined team score of 346. The Eagles impressively beat notable Divison 1 institutions, University of Miami, Stetson University, and Florida A&M University. Host University of Florida wound up winning the meet with 26 points.
One week after breaking his own school record, junior Mike Harney (North Fort Myers, Fla.) led the men's team, again setting a school record in the 8K with a time of 26:50.48. Harney led all Eagle runners with a 61st place finish. Head Cross Country Coach, Chris Highfield said, "Mike ran a near perfect race. He looked comfortable and under control throughout the entire course and had a great kick at the finish." Highfield continued, "Mike put together one of the most complete 8K runs that I have ever seen. I couldn't be happier or proud of his individual accomplishment as well as our entire men's team effort." Freshman Kyle Brunette (Venice, Fla.) was the next FGCU runner to place with a time of 27.48.23, with that time, Brunette reset his own FGCU freshman 8K record. Directly on Brunette's heels, was senior Ismael Galicia (Naples, Fla.) finishing one spot behind his teammate with a time of 27.49.23. Senior Scott Poindexter (Tallahassee, Fla.) and freshman Dustin Kapper (Seminole, Fla.) were the other Eagle runners to score in the meet with times of 28:09.59 and 28:54.70 respectively.
The Eagles finished in 12th place out of 17 teams in the field, with a combined team score of 333. The Eagles impressively beat notable schools as in-state rivals Nova Southeastern and Saint Leo University, and two Divison 1 institutions, former A-Sun member Florida Atlantic University and future A-Sun foe Stetson University. Host University of Florida wound up winning the meet with a perfect score of 15.