TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Tyler Gardiner dropped almost 40 seconds off his cross country time, and led the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes men’s cross country team to a 20th place finish out of 27 institutions at the Florida State University (FSU) Invitational over the weekend.
The women’s team, led by Alena Mackey who dropped 49 seconds off her best time, placed 21st out of 27 institutions.
“This was a packed field with some of the best cross-country competitors and top schools in Florida and Georgia,” said UB Athletics Head Coach Ednal Rolle. “We performed extremely well with all but one of our competitors posting personal bests.”
Gardiner had the best finish for the men’s team, placing 174th out of 211 competitors in a seven-kilometer run in a time 30:56.6.
“My main goal was to get out and stay with the main pack,” he said. “I wanted to stay with the pack for the first three miles and pull away. I felt good that I turned in a better time than my last meet.”
Ralph Wood had the second fastest run for the Mingoes as he ran the course in 33:24 for the 189th spot. He improved on his time of 33:49.36 from two weeks ago.
“The course was more flat compared to the Embry-Riddle course from two weeks ago and I was able to use that to my advantage and really pick it up on the downhills,” Wood said. “My strategy to go out hard and keep a constant pace throughout the whole race so that I could turn in a personal best.”
Leonardo Swain was 194th In 34:01.9. Elijah Swain placed 195th in 34:13.3 which was almost a two-minute improvement from his 36:15.55 personal best run. Joshua Davis was 196th in 34:14.2 which was also about a two-minute improvement on his 36:20.36 personal best run.
On the women’s side, Alena Mackey was the top finisher with her 173rd place finish out of 228 competitors with her 22:44.7 performance in the five-kilometer run. Her personal best before this competition was 23:27.04.
“My strategy was to take the first lap easy and then come back in the second lap,” she said. “I got stuck in the second wave of runners and just couldn’t get into that first pack.”
Romica Josey was the second fastest Mingoes female athlete. She finished 182nd in 23:18.5, shaving more than a minute off her personal best run of 24:46.55. “I realized it was a difficult course and was happy that I was able to PR (run a personal best),” she said.
Gabrielle Shannon was the third fastest competitor for the Mingoes women with a 23:56.9 performance. It was her first collegiate cross-country race. Davia Mckinney was 198th in 25:23.9 and Sierra Sears was 202nd in 26:04.9, shaving almost three minutes off her personal best run of 28:47.