Trent Giddings, Staff Writer
The Florida Southern Mocs took to the Florida State cross country courses in Tallahassee on Oct. 2 at Apalachee Regional Park for the Florida State Invitational.
Amongst non-Division I schools, the men’s and women’s teams took second and sixth place respectively.
Freshman Dean McGregor took 11th place amongst the 136 non-Division I runners with a time of 26:09.2 on the 8K course. Senior Jose Perez followed close behind, finishing 13th with a time of 26:16.2 and senior Kyle Butler with a time of 26:40.2 and a 19th place finish.
While the Mocs were able to take home second place, the finish marked the end of a two-year winning streak at the Invitational where the Mocs took home first in 2013 and 2014.
“I thought we did fairly well. Alabama-Huntsville has a very good team and beat us very handily in the first meet of the season at UF. We closed the gap on them and only lost by 12 points. If we continue to progress like we have been, then that bodes well for our postseason” Butler said.
Alabama-Huntsville finished the meet with 50 points. FSC finished alongside West Florida with 62 points each.
While the women’s team placed sixth among the non-Division 1 competition, the team celebrated freshman Aleksa Guerra’s 19th place finish with a time of 19:50.0 on the 5K course. The time was the fastest posted by a Lady Moc since the 2013 season at the USF Bulls Invitational.
Guerra was trailed by freshman Kassidy Watkins with a 33rd place finish and a time of 20:23.7.
“The team as a whole performed really well. It was a fast course that was flat so we were excited to run on it and a lot of the girls ran seasonal best times,” Watkins said.
Behind Watkins, freshmen Jolene Vergauwen (20:38.0), Hayley Brahm (20:39.5), Haley Blem (20:40.0) and junior Ashley Montano (20:40.60) took the 40th to 43rd slots as they finished within 2.6 seconds of one another.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be participating in the USF Invitational at The Claw in Tampa on Oct. 16 following an off weekend.
They will then move on to preparing for the Sunshine State Conference Championships.
“I think we will do pretty well, we’re racing at Holloway which we ran a couple of weeks ago so it’ll be exciting race at our home course that were already familiar with,” Watkins said.