Women's Cross Country season off and running

Photo courtesy of Steve Winterling, Pasco-Hernando State College
Photo courtesy of Steve Winterling, Pasco-Hernando State College

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 30, 2016) - The 2016 season marks a first for women's cross country in Region 8.

With Tallahassee Community College now offering the sport, there are four teams participating in Region 8, making it a sanctioned sport and creating the opportunity for the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) to hold its first-ever state cross country championship. The event will take place Friday, November 4 in Tallahassee, Fla., at the Apalachee Regional Park. 

The FCSAA meet is scheduled for the day before the Florida High School Athletic Association state cross country meet, also slated for the "ARP" in Tallahassee.

Last weekend, all four teams in Region 8 - Tallahassee, Chipola College, Pasco-Hernando State College and South Florida State College opened the 2016 season. While South Florida State opened with a home event in Avon Park, Tallahassee, Chipola and Pasco-Hernando State participated in the Cougar XC Challenge, hosted by Tallahassee's Godby High School. 

The meet took place at Phipps Park and marked the first time the event had ever included a college race. The Region 8 schools were joined by NAIA member Life (Ga.) University, who claimed team honors with 32 points. 

Pasco-Hernando State finished second with 39 points followed by Tallahassee (75) and Chipola (90).

Individually, Chipola's Nicole Morse was the top Region 8 finisher in third with a time of 22:09.19. Pasco-Hernando State's Charlene Sanchez posted a time of 22:44 over the hilly course to place fourth overall and lead the Quisats while Cynthia Negron (6th/23:25), Morgan Mattera (8th/23:41), Aanaleise Besaw (9th/23:54) and Marffee Simbulan (12th/24:08) rounded out the top five.

Samantha Reilly become Tallahassee's first-ever runner to finish a cross country race, finishing seventh with a time of 23:27.31. Other scorers for Tallahassee included: Mia Wiederkehr (11th/24:03), Monet Madeux (16th/24:36), Jeanna Prisco (21st/26:37) and Ellie Stubblefield (25th/27:41).

Joining Morse in the scoring column for Chipola were Lydia Wiedeman (18th/24:53), Jade Smelcer (23rd/27:15), Conner Melvin (31st/30:15) and Hannah Redmond-Rees (32nd/30:33).

Down south, the South Florida State Panthers hosted a time trial to kick off their season and posted the following results: Grace Miller - 21:28, Cali Gumpel - 21:50, Julie Soto - 21:55, Savannah Walter - 22:02, Alexis Armstead - 22:37, Lily Addison - 24:29, Maria Munoz - 26:19, Sarahi River - 27:11, Christen Pyles - 27:12.