JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the last three meets in the rearview mirror, Jacksonville University's cross country teams are prepared for Saturday's ASUN Conference Championship, hosted by USC Upstate.
It's been three weeks since the Dolphins' last race, but that doesn't mean they've just been taking time off and waiting around for the conference meet. With fresh legs and a determined mindset, the green and white are amped to take to the starting line.
"This is the most exciting time of the year for both coaches and athletes," said Head Coach Ronald Grigg, Jr. "In this sport, every race and every workout is designed to produce the best possible result in the end of October. We have been fortunate this year to have uninterrupted training. We have had great health. Now the weather is cooling off to provide perfect distance running conditions, and we are ready."
The women are slated to begin the 5K at 8:30 am, followed by the men's 8K at 9:30 am.
Freshman Alex Turnock, sophomore Brett Gerhardt, and senior Jeremy McDermet paced the Dolphins at the FSU Invitational, all finishing the 8K race under 29 minutes to lead JU to fourth place out of the Division I men's teams.
On the women's side, sophomores Nora McUmber and Anna Karaseva, and seniors Katy Solis and Caitlin Marino all finished in the top-15 out of 173 runners at the FSU Invitational. McUmber led the pod in a speedy 17:53.4 to place fourth overall and guide JU to a second-place team finish at the meet. Heading into Saturday's meet, the women are ranked 14th in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Women's South Region Poll.
Facing teams from the conference earlier in the season, the men's team defeated Stetson at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational in late September, while the women took down North Florida, Kennesaw State, Florida Gulf Coast, and Stetson at the same meet.
The Dolphins' next race is the NCAA South Region Meet, slated for Friday, November 11 in Tallahassee, Fla.