By Shay Johnston
The Men’s cross country team has had quite the year.
They began the season with the Florida Tech Invitational in Melbourne on Sept. 10. In this meet they faced ten other schools and placed first overall. With a final score of 49 points, the team outscored St. Leo by only eleven points. Junior Bobby Ormsby came in second place with a time of 25:16.69. Landing in third place was freshman runner Festus Kemboi with a time of 25:33.80. This was the first time since 2013 that two out of three top runners were from Florida Southern.
The third runner to place in the top ten was junior Evan Quinones in eighth place with a time of 26:12.70. Junior John Bryant secured the win in 26th place when he ran a personal best of 27:02.57, which put him eight spots and nearly 37 seconds ahead of St. Leo’s fifth runner.
The first home meet of the season was the Moccasins Invitational. The Mocs continued their winning streak when they placed first out of three teams. Individually, Florida Southern placed in six of the top ten spots. Kemboi won the first home race of his career with a time of 26:35.20. Ormsby and Quinones were in a photo finish for second and third respectively with a score of 28:09.50. Close behind in fourth place was Sophomore Dean McGregor with a time of 28:09.70. In fifth was senior runner Cody Van Natter with a time of 28:15.30, and in sixth was freshman Warran Grajalez with a time of 29:03.90.
The third meet of the season took place in Gainesville, FL at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational on Sept. 24. Coach Ben Martucci decided to rest the front lines and allow the other runners to gain some helpful experience. Sophomore Everett Wagner ran a personal season best time of 28:47.19 and placed highest individually at 50th. Sophomore Casey Brady came in 55th with a personal best time of 28:47.19 and in 68th place came junior Christian Beauchemin with a personal season best of 29:04.36. Junior Oswaldo Zapata also ran his personal season best time of 31:34.82. The team placed eighth out of twelve teams overall.
On Oct. 1 in Fayetteville, AR, the Mocs competed against 45 other teams at the Chile Pepper Invitational. Ormsby made his career best time of 24:28.91, which was the second fastest time in Florida Southern history. The first best time of 24:26.43 was in November of 2010 at the Sunshine State Conference Championship by the now-coach, Ben Martucci. Ormsby finished in 30th individually out of 583 runners.
He wasn’t the only one to make their new personal best time. Kemboi made his new time, 25:21.11 and was in 93rd place. Dean McGregor was in 111th place with his new personal best of 25:28.91. Finally, John Bryant made his personal best at 26:58.78. The team scored eighth place overall.
This past Saturday, the Mocs competed at the Saint Leo National Preview in Saint Leo, Fla. Sophomore Everett Wagner placed 29th individually with a time of 29:54.90. This was his highest career finish and marked the second time in the last three meets that Wagner had been the top Mocassin finisher. McGregor came in 31st place with a time of 29:57.73 and junior Christian Beauchemin finished in 34th with a time of 30:16.57. Freshman Brandon Williams placed 37th, Kemboi in 38th, Sophomore Casey Brady in 39th and Bryant placed 40th. The Mocs finished the meet with 161 points total and landed in 7th place out of 7 teams.
The next meet is the Sunshine State Conference Championship on October 22nd in Melbourne.