The FGCU men’s and women’s cross country teams haven’t been much of a factor in five trips to the Atlantic Sun Conference championships.
But with the Eagles running well this season and the meet being on FGCU’s home turf for the first time in program history, the Eagles are angling for much better outcomes Saturday.
The women’s five-kilometer and men’s 8K races will be at FGCU’s 500-acre satellite property on Buckingham Road in Fort Myers.
“We’re excited about hosting,” said FGCU athletic director Ken Kavanagh. “It’s great for the program.”
The FGCU men were picked 8th in an A-Sun preseason coaches’ poll. But the Eagles already beat Lipscomb, picked for third in the A-Sun, in their season-opening meet at Buckingham in August.
Junior Argeo Cruz of Immokalee has the six fastest times in FGCU history, topped by a 25:20.64. Cruz was 25th in last year’s A-Sun meet but enters Saturday’s race ranked 10th of 91 A-Sun men.
The FGCU women, picked fifth in the preseason, finished second to preseason favorite Lipscomb in August. Junior Kelly Perzanowski was 30th in last year’s A-Sun meet but is ranked 13th of 100 A-Sun women with the third best time in program history (18:16.5).
Cruz and Perzanowski also were two of four FGCU runners chosen by the school to compete in last year’s NCAA regionals in the school’s first year eligible.
None of the four advanced to the NCAA championships, but strong showings could further the cases for FGCU runners to receive repeat trips to this year’s NCAA regionals.