Women's Cross Country Signs First D-I Recruit
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University’s head cross country coach, Chris Highfield, has announced the signing of high school standout Megan Thies to the Eagles women’s cross country team. Thies, comes to FGCU via Brandon High School in Brandon, FL where she is a standout cross country and track student-athlete. She marks the first ever FGCU cross country Division I signee.

Thies was a two-year varsity letterwinner on both the cross country and track teams at Brandon High. Earlier this fall, Thies was appointed and is currently serving as captain for the Brandon women's cross country team ('06).

In her most recent race, the 2006 3A Regional, she led her Brandon team to a fourth place finish.  Thies ran the 5K race in 21:26 which was good for 12th individual place. A week earlier, during the 3A District meet, Thies finished in 3rd overall place with a time of 20:43 which helped pace Brandon grab the second place team finish.

In addition to an ongoing strong post season run for Thies, it was her regular season races that highlighted her racing year. In early October '06, Thies ran in the prestige FLRunners.Com 'Race of Champions' finishing 44th overall with a time of 20:09. Also, back in mid October '06, Thies ran and won the 'King Invitational' at Trout Creek with a time of 21:05.

Thies, is also an accomplished track and field athlete. Last year, as a junior at the 3A Districts race, she doubled up and grabbed two fourth place finishes in the both the 1-Mile (5:47) and 2-Mile (12:48) events. Thies, then went on to 3A Regional meet where she finished 13th in the one-mile race and 14th overall in the two-mile race respectively. Thies, is expected to have her best track and field season to date, come this spring '07.

Thies has also received numerous athletic achievements and acknowledgments from within the Brandon High School cross country and track programs. As a junior, Thies was named cross country Team MVP and received the Brandon Athletic All-Academic Award. On the track front, Thies was awarded with the 'Rookie of the Year' team award. As a senior, Thies currently serves as the Brandon cross country team captain and was named the Brandon 'Athlete of the Month' back in September '06.

On the academic front, Thies has also found success in the classroom. She currently is maintaining a 3.80 GPA and plans to major in biology once enrolled at FGCU. A four-year honor roll student, Thies is currently taking several AP classes at Brandon and is heavily involved in numerous clubs and societies. Such memberships include: the National Honors Society, the Math Honor Society, the Leaders Club, the Interact Club, and the “Strides” Mentoring Club.

When asked about his newest signee, head coach Chris Highfield said, "Megan is the epitome of what we strive for in terms of student-athletes, to represent our cross country programs here at FGCU. She is a remarkable kid and a tremendous talent, we are confident that she will have a significant impact in our programs immediate future." Highfield continued. "There is no doubt we are extremely excited that she is our school's first official Division I cross country signee."

The FGCU women's and men's cross country teams both concluded their 2006 season campaigns' last weekend with two top ten finishes, 10th and 8th respectively, at the Division II South Regional Meet in Memphis, Tennessee.