The Jacksonville University cross country program is gearing up for the final legs of what was a successful Fall campaign.
For the women, the season is down to its last two weekends, while the men have concluded their season at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships.
The men opened the 2012 campaign with the JU short course duals finishing fourth collectively as a team. Freshman Nick Dale was the first Dolphin to cross the finish line with a time of 18:08.70 for a 14th place finish. Not far behind was fellow freshman Andrew Merrill who finished 20th with a time of 18:49.20.
Next on the men’s schedule was the FLRunners.com invitational where the Dolphins finished fifth. The event was a coming out party for Dale as he ran a time of 16:44.80, good enough for sixth. Merrill crossed next for JU in 17th with a time of 17:30.90.
The Dolphins next headed to Tallahassee for the FSU Invitational. Dale finished 95th with a time of 28:41.60 while Merrill finished 112th in 29:32.40. Freshman Ryan Wagner ran a 30:14.30 in his first college race finishing 125th. Each member of the freshman trio was competing in their first 8K race of their career.
The schedule next took them to Orlando for the UCF Knight Attack Challenge where JU placed ninth. Dale again was the first Dolphin to finish coming in 27th with a time of 28:08.95. Merrill finished 39th and Wagner was right behind him in 40th.
The men’s portion of the season rounded out at the A-Sun Championships which saw the Dolphins place 10th. With a time of 27:32.60, Dale finished 53rd to lead the Dolphins. Behind him was Wagner who, in just his third race, finished 66th with a time of 29:10.30.
The women faired much better this season, posting finishes of fourth or better in every meet. The Dolphins opened with a second place finish at the JU short course duals as junior Svenja Meyer and senior Joane Pierre finished first and second respectively. Morgan Keel, Amaila Vogler and Sarah Bailey placed 11th through 13th for JU.
Next up was the FLRunners.com Invitational which saw LaTonya Payne finish 17th with a time of 20:04.40 while Bienna Freeman crossed just behind in 18th with a time of 20:08.90.
At the FSU Invitational, Pierre ran wild breaking the 6K program record with a time of 21:10.80 on her way to a second place finish. Meyer finished fifth with a 21:51.80 helping JU to a fourth place finish.
In Orlando for the UCF Knight Attack Challenge, Pierre finished first for the second straight year crossing the line in 21:25.60. The next Dolphin across was Meyer in sixth with a 21:57.46.
The Dolphins ran their way to a third place finish at the A-Sun Championships on the back of Pierre who, with a time of 17:17.50, finished first giving her the individual conference title. Continuing the season-long trend, Meyer came across next for JU in sixth with a time of 17:40.30.
With the men’s season finished, all the attention turns to Pierre and the women’s team. The Dolphins have the NCAA South Regionals on Nov. 9 in Tallahassee before traveling to Louisville, Kentucky for the NCAA Championships the following week.