Men's XC Places Sixth at FSU
Photo credit: dugco
Photo credit: dugco

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The women’s cross country team earned fourth in the 5k while the men ran sixth in the 8k at the FSU Invitational on Friday evening.

The women earned 102 points, behind Florida State (15), South Florida (80) and Florida A&M (97). The men took 170, below Florida A&M (32), Florida State (43), Florida Gulf Coast (61), UL-Lafayette (91) and South Florida (133).

“Both the men’s and women’s teams took the next step today,” head coach Ron Grigg said. “Nick [Dale] and Andy [Merrill] both ran faster today than they did on this course and I was happy with the freshmen men experiencing their first collegiate 8k race. This will prove valuable in their development.”

Svenja Meyer led the women Dolphins, finishing sixth (17:33.65), followed by Katy Solis in 12th (18:18.91), Caitlin Marino in 24th (18:59.79), Mary-Kate Ponder in 31st (19:31.12) and Shadaey Campbell in 58th (20:55.93).

“Svenja was outstanding today,” Grigg said. “She turned in a complete race and mixed it up with some of the best in the country. This personal best performance will allow her to remain confident.

“Katy continues to improve during her freshman campaign and moves to number 12 all-time at JU on the 5k list. Caitlin continues to be a pleasant surprise with her second consecutive sub 19-minute race. It was nice to have Mary-Kate back in the lineup and in three more weeks she will be much improved. Shadaey battled through a back issue, [but] we’ll expect better from her when fully healthy.”

Nick Dale and Andrew Merrill placed 31st and 32nd, respectively, crossing in 27:52.28 and 28:16.13. Dale and Merrill were followed by Kyle Crews Jr. in 34th (28:35.24), Jeremy McDermet in 36th (29:08.57), Balaram Khara in 41st (31:34.35) and Austin Davey in 42nd (32:36.46).

“We have about ten days of concentrated training followed by about ten days of gradual unloading in preparation for the [Atlantic Sun Championship] meet. If healthy, I expect to see our best performances of the year when it matters most.”

Next, the men and women will compete at the Atlantic Sun Championship on Nov. 2 in Nashville, Tenn.