Oct. 14, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the 18th annual Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic presented by New Balance on Saturday, Oct. 12. The Owls’ finish was highlighted by Chloe Sell and Marla Keyes who both posted times in the women’s 5K that broke them into FAU’s all-time top-10.
Sell was FAU’s top finisher, taking sixth place with a final time of 18:09.63. The sophomore set a personal record and the sixth best time in school history for the event. Sell improved her time by over two-minutes since the Disney World Cross Country Classic in 2012 (20:40.50).
Following just 10 seconds behind was teammate Marla Keyes who took seventh place, finishing in 18:19.92. Keyes also set a personal record and the eighth best time ever for FAU. Tara Cripe and Emily Olson improved their final times from last year. Cripe took 28th place finishing in 19:28.39. The junior placed 53rd at the 2012 meet crossing the finish line in 20:49.40. Olson’s final time of 19:46.05 was nearly one minute faster than her final time in 2012 (20:40.00).
On the men’s side, Josh Peterson and Michael Vidal were the Owls’ top runners for the 8K. Peterson finished in 15th place with a time of 26:49.43, setting a new personal record. He missed breaking into FAU’s all-time top-10 by just three-tenths of a second. Vidal followed in 19th place finishing in 27:05.44.
Christian Small, Joshua Nicholas, and Neil Coffman all set personal records at the meet finishing in 24th, 25th and 26th place, respectively. Small improved his time from 28:59.56 last year to 27:23.72 while Coffman improved from 28:33.11 to 27:31.89.
Head coach Alex Smolka was featured as a special guest commentator on ESPN3’s live broadcast during the meet.
“I’m very happy with the progress both teams are making. With one meet left in the regular season followed by two weeks to practice, I feel confident that we will be ready for the conference meet” said Smolka.
Overall, both team finishes improved from FAU’s performance in the 2012 Disney Cross Country Classic. The men’s team took fourth- place with a team average of 27:16.48 while the women’s team took fifth-place averaging 19:02.65. Last year, the men and women finished in seventh and sixth-place, respectively.
FAU’s men’s and women’s cross country teams will finish the regular season at UCF’s Black and Gold Invitational on Friday, Oct. 18. Both teams will travel to Denton, Texas for the Conference USA Cross Country Championships hosted by North Texas on Nov. 2. The women’s 5K will begin at 9 a.m. followed by the men’s 8K at 10 a.m.