Cross country struggles in second meet of season

Competing in a stacked field, both the women’s and men’s sides struggled to place Friday morning at the FSU Invitational in Tallahassee, Florida.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” distance coach Cody Halsey said.

In the second race of the short season, much of the progress seen was individual. The women’s team finished tenth overall as they were matched up against a deep ACC and SEC field. The preseason ranked No. 2 Florida State women’s cross country team went on to win the meet.

Freshman Daphnee Lavassa and senior Emma Langlois finished one and two for the second time this season for the Canes. Out of 103 runners, Lavassas was the first Cane to cross the finish line, placing 47th and finishing with a time of 18:03.9. In her first 5K of the season, Langlois finished with a personal best time of 18:21.4.

Freshmen Natalia Varela (19:09.6) and Morgan Johnson (19:49.5) also crossed the finish line with sub-20 minute times. Joining them was another freshman, Payton Payne, who finished with a time of 20:59.1.

The men’s side saw many individual improvements from its last meet in Gainesville.

“I think the men moved up well as the race progressed,” Halsey said. “We just need to keep putting in the work.”

In his second 8000m race of the season, sophomore Andrew Madden was the first Cane to cross the finish line in 45th place. Madden finished with a new personal best time of 25:37.8, improving by 14 seconds from his last race.

In a field of 93 runners, sophomores Justin Rittenhouse and Dillion Fields finished with sub-27 minute times for the second meet in a row. Joining them for the first time was freshman Colin Wilson, who finished 77th with a sub-27 time of 26:33.5. The team finished 10th overall with all runners crossing the finish line, including freshman Thomas Better (30:53.9).

The squad now has three weeks to prepare for the ACC Championships on Friday, Oct. 30 in Cary, North Carolina.

Featured Photo via Twitter, @CanesTrack.