BOCA RATON, Fla. – As the Florida Atlantic University cross country team hits the back half of its schedule, and the track contingency prepares for spring, the returnees have been joined by over a dozen newcomers that make up the incoming class for Head Coach Alex Smolka and Associate Head Coach Willie Randolph.
Nine women that run cross country, participate in track or both, along with four men’s cross country runners and now on board for the 2017-18 campaign. Here is a closer look at each newcomer:
Sean Barone ∙ Men’s Cross Country ∙ Freshman ∙ Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Barone was First Team All-Conference at Owen J. Roberts High School, and ran a personal best of 16:55 in the 5K as a senior at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships, finishing seventh. He was also awarded his high school’s most improved in 2016. His other PR’s were 4:42 in the 1600 meters and 9:49 in the 3200 meters.
Hermano Cherilus ∙ Men’s Cross Country ∙ Freshman ∙ West Palm Beach, Florida
Cherilus starred for a John I Leonard High School squad that was conference, district and regional champions. He was named Palm Beach County All-Conference and was a FACA finalist, running his personal best in the 5K at the 2016 state finals, a 17:33. He was also a two-time state qualifier, both in cross country and track.
Nolan Meuret ∙ Men’s Cross Country ∙ Freshman ∙ Orlando, Florida
At Olympia High School, Meuret was part of a district championship-winning squad, and finished ninth in the region and eighth in the state. His personal best in the 5K came as a senior when he ran a 17:42, and he qualified for the state finals to wrap his high school career.
Cristian Moreno ∙ Men’s Cross Country ∙ Freshman ∙ Coconut Creek, Florida
Moreno ran both track and cross country at Monarch High School. His personal bests were 16:46 in the 5K, 10:21 in the 3200 meters and 4:45 in the 1600 meters. He qualified for the 2015 BCAA Cross Country Championships and in 2016, won the 3200 twice and was runner-up in the 1600 in another meet.
Roshelle Francois ∙ Women’s Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Francois twice was named All-Broward First Team while running at Dillard High School. In 2015-16, it was as part of a 4x100 meter relay team, and her senior year, it came in the 200 meters. Her personal bests are 11.8 in the 100 meters, 23.9 in the 200 and 56.2 in the 400. She qualified for the outdoor state finals as a senior in both the 100 and 200.
Megan Giovanniello ∙ Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Estero, Florida
Giovanniello won a state championship in the 4x800 meters and finished in the top 15 in four individual events during her career at Estero High School. The relay squad set a school record of 9:15 in 2015 to win the FHSAA Class 3A race. She placed 10th in both 2016 and 2017 in the 800 meters, 12th in 2016 in the 1600 meters, and 15th in that same event as a sophomore in 2015. Four times, she was named All-Conference cross country, and her PR’s in high school were 19:05 in the 5K, 2:18 in the 800 meters and 5:08 in the 1600 meters.
Morgan Graff ∙ Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Tampa, Florida
In both cross country and track at Academy of the Holy Names, Graff was chosen Honorable Mention All-Tampa Bay. Her PR in cross country came in the 2016 FHSAA state finals, the second consecutive year she qualified, running a 20:30. She also advanced to the outdoor region finals in the 800 and 1600 meters.
Ana Holland ∙ Women’s Track and Field ∙ Graduate Student ∙ Centennial, Colorado
Holland comes to FAU after a storied undergrad career at the University of Colorado. She holds the CU outdoor school records in both the 100 meters (11.61) and 200 meters (23.45), and on the indoor side, ranks second all-time in the record book in the 60 meters (7.46) and 200 meters (23.95). She also was part of the record-holding 4x400 outdoor relay team (3:42.52). At Regis Jesuit High School she was named Colorado’s Gatorade Girls Track Athlete of the Year, and Denver Post All-Colorado Athlete of the Year, and ran for the USA Junior National Team in 2013, earning a gold in the 4x100 and 200 meters.
Jada James ∙ Women’s Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Miami, Florida
As a senior at American Heritage High School in Plantation, James was a state qualifier in multiple events, including being part of the 4x100 meter relay team that won the Class 2A state title. Individually, she finished sixth in the 100 meters and ninth in the 200. Her 100 meter PR came in the 2016 FHSAA district race (11.93), and in the 200, it came in the regionals that same year (24.75).
Chloe’ Jenkins ∙ Women’s Track and Field ∙ Sophomore ∙ Miramar, Florida
Jenkins jumped at Miramar High School before competing as a freshman at Alabama A&M. Last year, she finished third in the outdoor high jump, and seventh in the indoor high jump, at the respective SWAC championship meets. She qualified for the FHSAA outdoor finals as a senior at Miramar, placing third, and holds the school’s record in both that event and the long jump.
Erika Mares ∙ Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Jupiter, Florida
Mares was part of the 4x800 meter relay team that set the school record at Palm Beach Central, and advanced to region twice in cross country, including setting a PR in the race as a senior (23:27). Similarly, her best in the outdoor 800 meters also came in the postseason, in the 2017 districts, crossing in 2:35.94.
Alessa Sandusky ∙ Women’s Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Tampa, Florida
Sandusky brings with her an individual state title, having won the FHSAA outdoor 100 meter race as a senior, in 14.55. Her PR in that event came the year prior, in the district competition, 14:20, and she placed eighth overall in the state meet. She also qualified for state both years in the 300 meter hurdles, placing fifth as a junior and ninth as a senior, and in the 300, her best was 43.40, set at regionals her last year. She holds the Gaither High School record in both events, and twice, was named the team’s MVP.
Searra Woods ∙ Women’s Track and Field ∙ Freshman ∙ Tampa, Florida
Woods ran at Wharton High School and starred in the 400 meters, with a dozen first place finishes, individual district and regional titles, and a state finals qualification to her credit in the event. She won the FHSAA district title in both 2016 and 2017 and took first in the regionals race in 2016 to advance to state, where she finished fourth. Her personal best time in the 400 is a 56.32.
Cross country has three more regular season meets before entering into postseason play, and the track and field program hits the course for competition in January of 2018.