#TCCXC: Runners get first taste of ARP at Big Bend Invite

#TCCXC: Runners get first taste of ARP at Big Bend Invite

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 8, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College's cross country teams were back in action on September 2 at the Big Bend Cross Country Invitational. 

The event, which brings together dozens of high school runners from across the state, also featured a community race, giving the Eagles an opportunity to run on the trail at Apalachee Regional Park, host for next month's FSU Invitational as well as the NJCAA Region 8 Cross Country Championships. 

For the Tallahassee women, the race offered up a head-to-head opportunity against runners from Florida State University. While the Seminoles scored a decisive victory in team scoring, each Eagle runner improved their 5K time. 

Megan Giddens finished ninth overall with a time of 21:12.48, two minutes faster than her winning time at the Cougar XC Challenge on August 25. 

Olnick Duverge was the next Tallahassee runner to cross the finish line, doing so in a time of 25:28.64, a one-minute, eight-second improvement from her Eagle debut. 

Rachel Williams (27:35.41), newcomer Savana Osterbye (28:12.03) and Ashley Maxwell (29:58.11) rounded out the scoring for the Eagles. 

On the men's side, Tallahassee was unopposed in the team scoring but running against the clock proved to be anything but counterproductive. Four of the Eagles' five runners improved their time, led by Gatlin Nennstiel, who lowered his school-record time in the 5K by 23 seconds, finishing in 18:03.14. 

Joshua Guest saw the most improvement between the first and second events, running an 18:47.98, almost three-minutes faster than on August 25. 

Travis Parks ran a 19:23.10 while Tunde Azikwe (20:57.79) and Kelvin Brown (21:29.24) recorded personal-best times. 

The Eagle men will return to the trails on Saturday, September 16 for the Prefontaine Forest Run 5K at Silver Lake. The women, originally scheduled to participate, have scratched the event from their schedule and added the Chipola College Invitational on October 14. 

Eagle women ranked No. 3 in inaugural Region 8 poll

The Region 8 women's cross country coaches released their first-ever coaches poll earlier this week, and Tallahassee checked in at No. 3. 

Reigning Region 8 champion Pasco-Hernando State College is No. 1 followed by South Florida State College. 

First-year program Florida State College at Jacksonville is No. 4 while Chipola College, is scheduled to make its season debut on Saturday. 

Individually, Tallahassee sophomore Meagan Giddens has posted the third-fastest 5K time in Region 8 thus far with a 21:12 at last weekend's Big Bend Cross Country Invitational.