GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s cross country team continued its successful start to the 2013 season with a program-best 4th-place finish on Saturday morning at the Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by the University of Florida.
Senior Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) led the Eagles in the 8k with a 13th-place finish while recording a program record 24:52.00 to replace the former record of 25:20.64 he set last September.
The men tallied 143 total points to tie North Florida for fourth, as they outran sixth-place Miami (159 points), eighth place LSU (207) and A-Sun rival Stetson in 11th (318).
“The team did really well overall today,” Cruz said. “For me, I felt like I did really well. It was my first time running under 25 minutes, something I always knew I was capable of doing. It just felt really good to be out there with the front guys and it was really exciting to set a new school record breaking the old one by a whole 30 seconds. Today was just a great overall effort.”
Closely trailing Cruz was junior Austin Boetje (Lawrenceville, Ga./Mill Creek HS/Georgia State), finishing 19th with a 25:08.45.
FGCU had seven top-100 finishers with Nathan Kandie (Iten, Kenya/Arizona) taking 52nd (26:15.15), Alex DelleMonanche (Welland, Ontario/E.L. Crossley) in 53rd (26:15.44), Chris Rudloff (Ormond Beach, Fla./Mainland) claiming 64th (26:33.60), Courtland Bernard (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota HS) in 65th (26:33.71) and Charles Bengston (West Palm Beach, Fla./John I. Leonard HS) rounding the group out at 81st (26:52.92).
Joining FGCU to race in The Swamp were 26 other teams, including 14 NCAA Division I teams and Southeastern Conference power-house programs Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina and host No. 23 Florida.
“I’m really proud of the way the men competed today,” head coach Cassandra Goodson said. “Obviously Argeo had a good day setting a new school record, also setting a personal best on this course by over a minute from last year, so that was really good for him and we’re proud of that. The rest of the team did really well. Some of the guys didn’t have a great day, but as far as the team as a whole they filled in the gaps where we needed them too. It was a great showing for FGCU cross country at such an important event where we can compete against other Florida schools.”
The Eagles take to the trail again in Minneapolis, Minn. for the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 28.
FGCU INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
13. Argeo Cruz - 24:52.00
19. Austin Boetje - 25:08.45
52. Nathan Kandie- 26:15.15
53. Alex DelleMonanche – 26:15.44
64. Chris Rudloff - 26:33.60
65. Courtland Bernard - 26:33.71
81. Charles Bengston - 26:52.92
132. Jean Deceus – 28:17.52