Women’s cross country competes in UF Mountain Dew Invitational on Friday

After two weeks of training, the JU women’s cross country team is eager to get back on the course as the Dolphins compete in the UF Mountain Dew Invitational on Friday in Gainesville, Fla.

The Dolphins enter the meet having won five of their last six races, including the season-opening JU Shorts Course Duals on Sept. 4. The last time the Dolphins didn’t win a regular season race was at last season’s UF Mountain Dew Invitational when they placed fourth.

Earlier in the week, the Dolphins earned some national recognition as they were picked 11th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association south region preseason poll. The Dolphins also took the top spot away from defending conference champion Belmont in the second weekly Atlantic Sun coaches poll.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to run against almost every team in the state of Florida,” said JU head coach Ron Grigg. “It will be a good evaluation tool for the season ahead.”

In the duals opener, the Dolphins had the top three individual finishers in junior Elsabeth Goshu (12:39.87), freshman Amaila Vogler (12:59.15) and junior Kelli Midden (13:15.17) en route to a perfect 4-0 mark. The Dolphins finished ahead of Stetson (3-1), North Florida (2-2), Savannah State (1-3) and Bethune Cookman (0-4).

Freshman Morgan Keel placed eighth with a time of 13:36.77, while senior Tiffanie Saxton was ninth (14:08) to round out the JU runners.

The meet on Friday will also be the first action of the season for seniors Alyssa Deal and Ali Ritter along with junior Susanne Klungtveit, who each earned all-conference honors in 2008. Also joining running in their first meet will be junior Anastasia Fokina and freshman Joane Pierre.

Junior Andrew Maedel will run in the meet as the men’s lone representative for the Dolphins. Maedel won the individual portion of the JU short course duals to help the men’s team to a second place finish.