FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s and women’s cross country teams head out of Florida for the first time this season when they participate in the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational hosted by Loyola-Chicago at Montrose Park on Saturday morning. The men begin at 11:15 a.m. with an 8K and the women follow at noon with a 5K.
“The teams had a good start at the University of Florida Invitational. That meet showed we have solid teams for both men and women and compete well in the state,” said head coach Cassandra Harbin. “It will be good for them to get out of Florida and compete with teams from across the nation. The teams have been working very hard and I really look forward to seeing how both of them do."
The men’s squad is coming off a record-setting performance at the Mt. Dew Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 18 at the University of Florida Golf Course. The Eagles earned 175 points for a sixth-place finish; improving on its 2009 finish of 11th.
Freshman Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) paced the Eagles with a time of 26:09.42 to finish in 20th and set the top freshman time. The mathematics major was just hundredths of a second behind the school record for the men’s 8K (26:08.89). Sophomore Jonathan Lanning (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Military Academy) set the sophomore 8K record with a time of 26:40.12 for a 36th-place finish.
The women’s team experienced similar success at the Mt. Dew Invitational as both sophomore Barrie Cohen (Vorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional HS) and freshman Kelly Perzanowski (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville HS) broke the school’s 5K record, while the team finished in seventh place. The Eagles earned 224 points in the 208-member race, improving on its 2009 finish of ninth and shaving almost a full minute off the average team time.
Cohen crossed the finish line at 18:42.38, breaking current senior Megan Thies’ (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) time of 18:55 set at the 2009 Atlantic Sun Championship, for a 25th-place finish. Perzanowski ran an 18:49.06 to finish in 28th and put her mark in the FGCU top time. Both times now stand as the top times for their respective class, as well.
Seniors Dino Bozzone (Auckland, New Zealand/University of Portland) and Thies have also led their respective teams this season. Bozzone was the Eagles’ top finisher at the opening meet of the year, while Thies has been one of the top three finishers on the women’s side in both meets.
The teams will spend the rest of October preparing for the Atlantic Sun Championships on October 30 in Spartanburg, S.C. with tune-up meets at the Disney Invitational (Oct. 9) and Hatter Invitational (Oct. 15).