JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Following two weeks of rest, preparation, and training, Jacksonville University's cross country teams are ready to hit the trail Saturday, September 24 at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational. The men will race an 8K at 7:55 am, while the women will follow with a 5K beginning at 8:30 am.
"We have about a month of training behind us and we are in our heaviest workload at the moment," said Head Coach Ronald Grigg, Jr. "The Mountain Dew meet will be a good chance to compete at the full racing distance against all of the best programs in Florida."
The men's team will get its first taste of the longer, 8K course this season.
Two weeks ago at the UNF XC Challenge, freshman Alex Turnock paced the Dolphins in the 5K race in a swift 16:53.36, while senior Jeremy McDermet followed closely behind in 16:54.42. However, the Mountain Dew Invitational will be a good test as JU will only be seeing 8K courses throughout the rest of the season.
Also facing a longer course distance this weekend, the women look to break back into the regional rankings this meet after previously being ranked 14th in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region Poll.
Senior Caitlin Marino led the Dolphins two weekends ago in the 3K race at North Florida (10:42.07, seventh place) and sophomore Nora McUmber crossed the line right behind in 10:43.39.
With just one more race before the conference championships in late October, the UF Mountain Dew Invitational will be crucial to the Dolphins' progress.
"After this meet we will have an accurate assessment of how good we can be in another month during the championship season," concluded Grigg.
JU will head to Tallahassee, Fla. for its next meet, the FSU Invitational, on October 7.