GAINESVILLE, Fla. (September 23, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College's men's and women's cross country teams ran in the Mountain Dew Invitational for the first-time ever on Saturday.
The event, hosted by the University of Florida and held at the Mark Bostic Golf Course, provided the Eagle women with an opportunity to run head-to-head against their four Region 8 counterparts. For the men, who were the only two-year program in the 24-team field, it marked the first-year squad's initial 8000-meter run.
The Tallahassee women scored ahead of a pair of four-year programs en route to a 28th place finish out of 32 teams overall. More importantly, the Eagles claimed third place among the quintet of Region 8 foes – and each of the team's six runners who participated on Saturday post season-best times.
Defending state champion Pasco-Hernando State College led the pack of Region 8 schools and finished 25th. South Florida State College was next, finishing one spot ahead of Tallahassee in 27th. Florida State College at Jacksonville and Chipola College completed the order of finish and sets the stage for the Region 8 Championship on Saturday, October 28 at Apalachee Regional Park.
Individually, sophomore Meagan Giddens led the Eagles, crossing the stripe in 20:44.5. Giddens placed 134th out of 285 total runners and posted the third-fastest time among the Region 8 participants.
Olnick Duverge was the next finisher for Tallahassee at 23:10.6, her best time of the season by more than two minutes.
Rachel Williams shaved 2:28 off her previous best time and posted a 25:07.9. Alexis McElroy, making her season debut for the Eagles, finished in 25:25.2.
Savana Osterbye ran a 26:56.1, an improvement of 1:16, and Ashley Maxwell bettered her time by 2:07 and finished in 27:51.9.
The Eagle men hit the trail first on Saturday and finished 23rd but did knock off four-year program Edward Waters College in the process.
Freshman Gatlin Nennstiel kept his perfect record intact as the team's top finisher on the year. His time of 29:46.5 was good for 143rd out of 200 overall participants – and also established the school record in the 8000-meter race.
Joshua Guest continued to close the gap on Nennstiel and give the Eagles a formidable dual threat atop the depth chart. He ran a 29:59.8, finishing just six spots behind Nennstiel.
Travis Parks was next in line for the Eagles, clocking in a 31:49.3. Tunde Azikwe ran a 35:04.9 and the team's scoring was completed by newcomer Louis Cordero, who ran a 36:36.9 in his first race of the season.
Kelvin Brown finished with a time of 39:03.5.
Up next for both teams is the Florida State Invitational on Friday, October 6.