Florida Southern College’s men’s and women’s cross country took sixth and 11th, respectively, at the 2019 UF Mountain Dew Invite on Sept. 13 in Gainesville, Fla.
Sophomore Sarah Zamot recorded a personal best 18:44.3, knocking 15 seconds off her previous best time of 18:59.2, which was set on Oct. 20, 2018 at the USC Beaufort Sand Shark Invitational.
The men’s junior trio of Mason Jones, Josh Wagner and Mitchell Kozik had a strong showing in a field chock full of Division I talent. Jones led the Mocs with a 26:13.6 performance, which was good enough for 14th place overall. Wagner’s 26:26.4 was good enough for 24th place while Kozik’s 26:56.6 slid him into the 36th position.
Men’s head coach Matt Levassiur’s “Flogrown” freshman contingent had a strong showing in Gainesville, with Troy Smith, Alex Guy and Brady Zimmerman finishing 4,5 and 6 for the Mocs in their first career race. Smith’s 27:04.1 was enough for 41st overall with Guy’s 28:03.9 keeping him in the top 100 (98th place). Zimmerman was just outside the top 100 in 101st place after a strong 28:14.5.
“Our new Athletic Director, Drew Howard, challenged to commit to maintaining a ‘Championship effort’ this year,” Levassiur said. “Although we can’t always control if we win or lose on race day, we know that we control our effort and attitude.”
The host team, University of Florida, won the meet for the men with 40 points while Sunshine State Conference foe Embry-Riddle (3rd) led Division II teams with 142 points. Saint Leo (168 points, 4th) and Flagler (182 points, 5th) kept the Moccasins outside of the top 5. Southern finished sixth with 190 points.
There was a noticeable difference in the women’s lineup, as Addison Cantor and Alayna Goll were missing from the starting grid. Their lack of attendance was compounded with slow performance of Hannah Flemming, who finished fourth on the team and 91st overall with her 20:07.0 performance. Flemming is recovering from an injury.
The University of Florida also won the meet for the women, amassing 30 points in the contents. University of Tampa, the meet’s runner-up, led Division II teams with 107 points. Embry-Riddle (240 points, 7th) and Saint Leo (266 points, 10th) also finished above the Mocs.
Head coach Stephanie Bylander said that the team is focusing on two things this season, “pack it up” and being “better today.”
“As a team we have all these pieces that we need to be successful, so now it’s just about really working together in training and racing, as well as staying in the moment,” Bylander said.
Florida Southern will race again in two weeks, when they will split to take the FLRunners Invitational at Holloway Park on Sept. 27 and the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. on Sept. 28.