JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Flood conditions in South Carolina have forced the Jacksonville University cross country program to change its schedule this weekend. Instead of competing in the College of Charleston Classic, which moved to the campus of Winthrop, the Dolphins will conclude their "regular season" in-state at the USF Invitational.
The meet, scheduled for Friday evening, marks the first time JU's women will race a 6K this season. The ladies open the invitational at 5 p.m. before the men's 8K begins at 5:30 p.m.
Teams invited include FIU, Tampa, UCF, Florida Southern, FAU, Embry Riddle, Miami, PHCC, St. Leo, Nova Southeastern, Webber, Florida College, Lynn University, FGCU, Florida Tech, Palm Beach Atlantic, Rollins, Stetson and FAMU.
"This is the last regular season competition before our conference and hopefully regional championships," said Head Coach Ronald Grigg. "We are very familiar with the competition, and we hope to execute race plans that will capitalize on all of our training preparation and our prior races. For the women, the 6K distance is a perfect challenge before the postseason."
In the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coaches' Poll, Jacksonville's women were ranked 14th in the south region. A win at the FSU Invitational earned the Dolphins the recognition.
Kyla Siemens (4th, 18:07.9) led the team and was followed by Katy Solis (9th, 18:33.7), Nora McUmber (10th, 18:39.5), Caitlin Glynn (16th, 19:02.2), Janine Zajac (24th, 19:14.5) and Tatyana Hodnett (42nd, 19:55.0).
On the men's side, Andrew Merrill has produced a stellar senior campaign. He's been the first to cross the finish line in every race this season and produced a 19th place effort at the FSU Invitational with a time of 27:21.3. The Dolphins finished fifth overall in the event and Andrew Hart, Kyle Crews Jr., and Drew Overmyer ran their best times on the season.
Friday, Oct. 30, Jacksonville treks the short distance to the campus of North Florida for the Atlantic Sun Championship.