JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University's men's and women's cross country programs opened their 2015 season across town at the UNF Invitational Saturday morning.
"I'm very happy with today's races for both the men and women," said Head Coach Ronald Grigg. "It was typically hot and humid, the course was soft from our recent rain, and each team was missing a freshman who should impact our top five scorers. Yet both teams ran very well."
Andrew Merrill was the first Dolphin to cross the finish line in the 8k race, finishing in 27:52.39 for 23rd overall. Jeremy McDermet recorded a time of 28:45.69, putting him in at 33rd, while Nick Dale (29:23.65, 37th), Andrew Hart (29:50.56, 42nd), Kyle Crews Jr. (32:25.06, 52nd), Drew Overmyer (35:52.83, 56th), and Austin Davey (37:27.92, 67th) rounded out the Jacksonville pack.
The women's 5K race featured a pair of Dolphins in the top five. Kyla Siemens was JU's best runner on day, the sophomore concluded the race in 18:36.64 to place third overall, and Katy Solis followed shortly behind her with a time of 18:45.74 to finish fourth.
Nora McUmber made her freshman debut with a seventh-place performance (18:52.24).
The rest of the Dolphin field read: Caitlin Glynn (19:33.19, 20th), Janine Zajac (19:39.36, 23rd), Caitlin Marino (20.00.85, 29th) and Tatyana Hodnett (20:38.29, 48th).
"Both teams showed that we are much improved over last year," Grigg finished. "The keys for future results are consistency and health."
With the first race of the season now under its belt, Jacksonville will have two weeks to prepare for the UF Moutain Dew Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course on Sept. 19.
On the men: "Andy and Jeremy worked so hard over the summer and it showed. Nick had a solid opener and ran well early. Drew Hart had a nice first collegiate race. Kyle was excellent given his summer surgery and limited training. I am proud of the efforts of Drew Overmyer and Austin Davey."
On the women: "It was good to see Kyla and Katy competing up front. Nora and Caitlin Glynn were strong for us in their first collegiate races. Both Janine and Tatyana show significant improvement over last year, and Caitlin Marino was solid as usual."