TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- In their first races since sweeping at the JU Short Course in late August, the Jacksonville University women’s and men’s cross country teams ran at the FLrunners.com 14 Invitational Friday night in Titusville. The women finished second and the men fifth.
For the women, University of Central Florida won with a total time of 1:32:59.20. JU followed in second (1:38:59.80) and Stetson rounded out the top three in 1:37:43.30.
“Overall I was very pleased with our first race in over a month,” said Director of XC Ron Grigg. “We had a lot of positives, while also identifying some things we need to continue to improve upon.”
Svenja Meyer (17:52.90) and Katy Solis (18:30.30) placed second and third, respectively, in the 5k.
“Svenja ran over 20 seconds faster than she has ever run on this course,” said Grigg. “Katy had a very nice opener as a freshman in her first collegiate 5k.
Caitlin Marino (18:57.90), Shadaey Campbell (20:16.10) and Alexis Taylor (23:22.60) placed seventh, 20th and 40th, respectively, of 42 runners.
“Caitlin ran a lifetime best. Shadaey is a true sprinter; for her to run 20:16 is just darn impressive. Alexis gave it her best effort. We did well to finish second even though we are obviously short-handed at the moment. If we can get to full strength before conference, I think we will be ok.”
On the men’s side, the University of Florida won the 5k (1:18:05.30), with Florida International, Stetson and Bethune-Cookman placing behind. JU finished in 1:28:32.10.
Nick Dale led the Dolphins with a time of 16:53.80 in 14th place. Andrew Merrill (17:09.40) finished 17th, Jeremy McDermet (17:23.70) was 19th, Kyle Crews Jr. (17:54.90) was 22nd, Balaram Khara (19:10.30) placed 27th and Austin Davey (20:26.30) finished 31st.
“I think that Andy and Jeremy ran very solid races. The other freshmen learned valuable lessons about the early pace of collegiate races. Nick, our top finisher, didn’t have a great day, but he will be fine moving forward.
“I will be excited to see how we adapt to this race and apply what we learned in two weeks at FSU."
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