FORT MYERS, Fla. – Highlighted by the season-opening FGCU Invitational as well as playing host to the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference meet, the FGCU cross country teams announced the schedule for the upcoming fall season on Friday.
The Green and Blue open the first of six fall meets by hosting the FGCU Invitational on Friday, August 31 at 6 p.m. at FGCU’s Buckingham Property. It will mark the second straight year the Eagles have opened with the event, as the men’s team finished in first place in the 4-mile event while the women’s team placed second in the 5K race last season. The men’s event will be an 8K race this season.
FGCU then travels to Gainesville, Fla. on Saturday, Sept. 15 for the 24th Annual Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by Florida. The early morning event begins with the men’s 8K at 7:55 a.m. and continues with the women’s 5K at approximately 8:30 a.m. Last season, the men’s team took 7th in the 18-team field ahead of the likes of FIU, USF, FAU, Stetson and Bethune-Cookman, while the women’s team outlasted UCF, FIU, Stetson and Bethune-Cookman with a ninth place finish.
Heading out of state for the first time in the campaign, the Eagles will trek to Louisville, Ky. for the Greater Louisville Classic, hosted by Louisville at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park. Marking the first time competing at the event for the Green and Blue, the men’s squad will begin the 8K event at 8:30 a.m. with the women’s team following in the 5K race.
Back-to-back trips to Orlando, Fla. continue the 2012 schedule for the Eagles, as they are set to compete in the Disney World Cross Country Classic on Saturday, October 6 and the UCF Black and Gold Challenge on Friday, October 12. Having competed in both of the 8K events last season, the men’s team will look to build on its second place finish in both competitions last season. The women’s team ran to fourth place finishes in both the 5K race at Disney and the 6K event at UCF last season.
For the first time in program history, FGCU will host the A-Sun Championship meet. Competing on the same course at FGCU’s Buckingham Property in which they opened the season, the Eagles will welcome the other nine A-Sun schools to Fort Myers, Fla. for the men’s 8K and women’s 5K conference championship competitions. Last season at the conference meet in Nashville, Tenn. (Belmont), the women’s and men’s teams placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
With last year marking the first year of NCAA postseason eligibility, the men’s and women’s teams will each have their sights set on a trip to NCAA Regionals. This year’s NCAA South Regional will feature a men’s 10K and women’s 6K event in Tallahassee, Fla. on Friday, Nov. 9. The NCAA Championships follow on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 12 p.m. at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., the same course in which the Eagles will run the Greater Louisville Classic.
The FGCU men’s team placed in the top 10 in every competition last fall, highlighted by a pair of second place finishes and a first place finish at the season-opening FGCU Invitational were they defeated in-state rival Miami. Meanwhile, the women’s program also earned top 10 finishes in all six fall competitions, including two fourth place finishes and a second place result at the season-opening FGCU Invite.
Leading the Eagles in each of the fall competitions, men’s junior Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) and redshirt junior Gilbert Chemaoi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kirobon HS/Eastern Kentucky) and women’s senior Barrie Cohen (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional HS) and junior Kelly Perzanowski (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville HS) made program history by representing the Green and Blue for the first time at the Division I NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Cruz was also named one of three unanimous selections to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference team.
2012 FGCU Cross Country Schedule
Aug. 31 - FGCU Invite (Buckingham, Fla.) - Men (8K) 6:00 p.m./Women (5K) 6:45 p.m.
Sept. 5 - Mountain Dew Invite (Gainesville, Fla.) - Men (8K) 7:55 a.m./Women (5K) 8:30 a.m.
Sept. 29 - Greater Louisville Classic (Louisville, Ky.) - Men (8K) 8:30 a.m./Women (5K) TBD
Oct. 6 - Disney World Classic (Orlando, Fla.) - Men (8K) 7:45 a.m./Women (5K) 8:30 a.m.
Oct. 12 - UCF Invitational (Orlando, Fla.) - Women (6K) 6:00 p.m./Men (8K) 6:40 p.m.
Oct. 27 - A-Sun Championship (Buckingham, Fla.) - Men (8K) TBD/Women (5K) TBD
Nov. 9 - NCAA South Regional (Tallahassee, Fla.) - Men (10K) TBD/Women (6K) TBD
Nov. 17 - NCAA Championship (Louisville, Ky.) - Men (10k) 12:00 p.m./Women (6K) 12:58 p.m.