On Saturday, Sept. 14, after traveling four hours to West Florida’s campus, the men’s and girls’ cross country teams arrived at the Argonauts home course. Compared to last weekend’s race, this would be a much more difficult trial for the Tigers. The course was altered, the temperature was hotter, the schools were more competitive, the time spent in the van traveling was longer, and the distance went up to 8k for men and 5k for the women. Barring these conditions, both teams had some stellar performances.
The women’s team suffered two injuries in one week, leaving the Tigresses at a fraction of their normal prowess. Senior Cayla Nousain was temporarily benched with a minor foot debilitation, while freshman Mckenzie Scroggins endured a painful foot surgery. With two of the top women unable to participate, sophomore Shechinah Adams asserted herself as the leader of the pack, placing 15th overall. Junior Tori Harris and sophomore Amber Nelson stuck fairly close to each other throughout the whole race and used one another to help gain momentum as the 5k unraveled.
This being the first 8k of the year, the men’s team was anxious at the starting line. Sophomore Armando Fierro took his spot back as lead Tiger from the moment the starting gun went off all the way to finish line, placing 7th overall. The rest of the pack was not too far behind with Senior Warren Enriquez placing 11th, freshman Rafael Duenes at 16th, junior William Kazery at 17th and junior Kenny Slavik sweeping up in 22nd. The Tigers placed 3rd in the meet behind Harding and West Florida, but none of the runners were disappointed in their results after a long weekend of traveling.
After the races were finished, the Tigers rolled out and headed to the beach to enjoy the white sands of Pensacola. The next three weeks will not hold any races, so Coach Medeiros has set up a grueling workout schedule that will leave the Tigers exhausted but will hone them for their return to the Jacksonville State University invitational on October 7th.