MINNEAPOLIS – Racing in the most competitive regular-season meet in program history, the Florida Gulf Coast University cross country teams showed undying perseverance in Saturday’s Roy Griak Invitational. Held on the University of Minnesota’s Les Bolstad Golf Course, the cold rain that fell from the Minnesota sky turned the lush course into muddy challenge, making one of college cross country’s most iconic invites even more grueling.
Highlighting the day for the Eagles was senior Kelly Perzanowski (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville HS) who continued to resonate noise for FGCU by beating top competitors. Finishing 45th out of 300, Perzanowski breezed by some of college cross country’s best, clocking a 22:00.65 in the women’s 6k.
While surpassing runners from No. 20 Vanderbilt, No. 21 N.C. State and No. 26 Iowa State, Perzanowski’s representation of her team in the top-50, was something high-major runners from Nebraska, South Carolina, Iowa, Wyoming and Colorado State failed to do.
The women’s team tallied 788 total points to take home 26th-place, outrunning 27th-place Northern Illinois (804 points) and 28th-place Creighton (856 points).
Outpacing runners from No. 24 NC State, No. 29 Arizona State, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Iowa, Arizona, Colorado State and UGA, senior Argeo Cruz (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee HS) led the men’s team in the 8k, recording 25:56.40. Closely trailing Cruz were Nathan Kandie (Iten, Kenya/Arizona), running a 26:00.30, Austin Boetje (Lawrenceville, Ga./Mill Creek HS/Georgia State), finishing with a 26:01.50.
The men tallied 637 total points to take home 23rd-place, closely following 22nd-place South Dakota (631 points) and 21st-place Lewis (630 points), while outrunning 24th-place Creighton (758 points).
“We didn’t respond well to the weather conditions today,” head coach Cassandra Goodson said. “To their credit, most of the team kept fighting for position. We will learn from this experience, gain strength from it and keep moving forward.”
The Eagles return to The Sunshine State for the Seminole Invitational on Oct. 11 in Tallahassee.
WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
45. Kelly Perzanowski – 22:00.65
176. Alicen Wilbur - 24:08.60
187. Courtney Corradetti – 24:53.80
188. Regan Farrow- 24:55.90
192. Stephanie Cajas - 25:25.95
193. Amanda Restivo - 25:46.00
195. Gretchen MacMillan – 27:36.85
FGCU INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
109. Argeo Cruz - 25:56.40
115. Nathan Kandie- 26:15.15
116. Austin Boetje - 26:01.50
146. Chris Rudloff - 26:57.60
151. Courtland Bernard - 27:10.70
159. Alex DelleMonanche – 27:41.7
163. Jean Deceus – 28:15.70