Aug. 30, 2012
BOCA RATON, FL - The Florida Atlantic men's and women's cross country squads kick off the 2012 season on Friday when they travel to Fort Myers for the FGCU Invitational.
The men return two of its top runners from last year, as sophomore Michael Vidal and senior Ryan Davis lead an experienced group of eight returnees. Vidal, from Miami, looks to translate his success from the spring, where he set two school records and was 12 seconds away from another while competing at various outdoor track events. Davis, hailing from Miramar, has been in the top three for the cross country squad each of his three seasons with the team, and was the top FAU finisher (28th place) at last season's Sun Belt Conference Championships. Off the course, he was also named the 2012 SBC Male Sporting Behavior Award winner.
On the women's side, at least experience-wise, the opposite is true. Most of the seasoned runners departed, and 10 "young and dedicated runners with lots of promise," according to head coach Alex Smolka, have joined the squad. The returnees are led by seniors Megan Bary (Jacksonville) and Stacy Paton (Stuart, FL), the latter earning a 30th-place finish at the 2011 SBC Championships.
The men were picked to finish ninth in the preseason SBC poll, while the women were slotted eighth. Western Kentucky was chosen tops overall in both polls.
Here is the scheduled list of runners competing this weekend. The men will run an 8K, while the women will negotiate the 5K course.
View the remainder of the 2012 cross country schedule here.