By Morgan Swem
The Florida Southern men’s cross country team finished up the 2016 Sunshine State Conference Championship as a runner-up with four Florida Southern runners finishing in the top ten spots. Bobby Ormsby earned All-Championship honors, finishing with the fourth fastest 8K time in the programs history. He finished with a time of 24:37.77. Evan Quinones finished in 5th place with a time of 25:09.66, Dean McGregor finished 6th with a time of 25:10.17 and Fetus Kemboi came in 8th place with a time of 25:17.03.
Though they ran a great race, the men’s cross country team dropped down to number three on the Weekly South Regional Poll. The men’s team had currently been ranked second for the past four consecutive polls. The cross country team will try and earn their way back up in the poll in the NCAA Division II South Championship on Nov. 5 which will take place at Saint Leo University.
The women’s cross country team competed in the 2016 Sunshine State Conference Championship as well. Florida Southern’s own Allison Wright placed ninth in the competition to give Florida Southern a 3rd place finish at the Conference. It was the highest place finish for the lady Mocs since the team came in 2nd in 2009. Wright beat her own best time by finishing the race almost four minutes before her pervious best time, finishing at 22:03.86. Her race time is the 10th fastest 6K time in program history and also marked the first time a Florida Southern women’s runner has placed within the top ten runners at in league championship in six years. The last time this happened was back in 2010 when Emily Labarbera placed sixth in 2010.
Wrights top ten finish also secured her a spot in the 2016 SSC All-Championship Team. Hannah Nelson beat her own previous time record and finished in 18th place with a time of 22:45.15. Morgan Siebka finished not far behind her in 20th place with a finishing time of 22:48.49. This was the fist time she had competed in a collegiate 6K. Jolene Vergauwen beat her best time by finishing with a time of 23:07.31. Amanda Slattery finished the race with a time of 23:19.11. Florida Southern’s Molly Price, Aleksa Guerra, Anna-Brook Opalinski and Emilie Flament all finished the race beating their pervious personal best times as well all finishing the race in less than 26 mintues.
Overall, Florida Southern took home third place with a total of 102 points. Saint Leo ended the weekend placing first with 28 points, and Tampa took home second place with 55 points. Palm Beach Atlantic University finshed the competition in fourth place, while Florida Tech came in fifth. Nova Southeastern came in sixth, Lynn came in seventh with a total of 172 points and Rollins finished the completion in eighth place. Both the men and women’s cross country team will compete again on Nov. 5 at the NCAA Division II South Championship at Saint Leo University.