Cross country competes at A-Sun Championships Saturday
Nick Dale/Joane Pierre (Photo credit Ralph Epifanio)
Nick Dale/Joane Pierre (Photo credit Ralph Epifanio)
The JU women’s and men’s cross country programs will look to achieve their overall team goals Saturday when they race in the A-Sun Championships Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

The Dolphin women will trot out a veteran squad which looks to improve on their fifth place finish during last year’s meet.

“Quality individual performances will lead to a quality team result,” JU head coach Ron Grigg said. “Saturday morning will be full of opportunity for our team of veterans.”

Leading the group of six seniors for JU is A-Sun preseason Runner of the Year, Joane Pierre. The Immokalee, Fla., native has earned all-conference honors at the meet every season, including placing fourth (17:51.00) in the 2011 championships.

Pierre has paced the Dolphins in the last two meets to consecutive A-Sun Runner of the Week accolades. Her time of 21:10.8 (2nd) at the FSU Invitational (10/5) broke the JU program 6k record.

Junior Svenja Meyer will to better her time of 18:10.70 in the 2011 championship that netted her second team all-conference honors. Meyer has finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in JU’s last two meets.

Other A-Sun championship veterans for JU include seniors Amalia Vogler, Bienna Freeman, Morgan Keel and Alicia Gard-Kaminkow and sophomore Sarah Bailey. Junior LaTonya Payne will be running in the conference meet for the first time.

The JU men will continue to rely on its freshmen in Nick Dale, Andrew Merrill, Will Tirado, James Trebilcock and Ryan Wagner.

“It has been a lot of fun working with five freshmen this year and watching them develop,” Grigg said “We know they are ready for their best performance of the year.”

Dale has led the Dolphins all season, including running a 28:08.95 at the UCF Attack Challenge Oct. 12. Merrill has been JU’s second highest finisher in every race and ran a 29:19.92 in the last meet.

Fans can find more about the conference meet on the championship page by logging onto