Led by senior Omar Osborne, the Men’s Cross Country team finished sixth out of 30 teams in Saturday’s Disney Cross Country Classic at Walt Disney’s Wide World of Sports, in Lake Beuna Vista, Fla., with the team crown going to the University of Florida.
In any event held at Walt Disney World, visitors can’t help but to leave in high spirits. It also does not hurt to compete against some of the best athletes in the nation and vastly improve on previous success, which the men’s team did by improving on their 13th place showing in 2004.
Osborne led the Rattlers with a time of 26 minutes and 57.03 seconds, enough to place him 35th overall in the eight-kilometer race.
“I felt it was a good performance for me, and for the whole team, to get us ready for the championship,” said Osborne of the team performance.
Also finishing for the Rattlers in the push to sixth place were freshman Justin Davis (with a time of 27:07.66), sophomores Brian Griffith (27:09.76) and Brandon West (27:27.14), and juniors Erik Ward (27:21.60) and Gerald Christian (27:45.30).
The Lady Rattler Cross Country team finished the five-kilometer race in 17th of the 33-team field, also won by the University of Florida.
Sophomore runner Lindsay Thomas, who finished with a time of 20:20.68, led the Lady Rattlers. Thomas’ time was enough to earn her 76th place overall, along with freshmen runners YaTandrea Burke (20:50.24) and Jeanna Dorcelin (20:54.86) to round out the Lady Rattlers finishing among the Top 100 individual placers.
“I’m happy with my performance, I did a lot better than last year,” said Thomas of her performance. She continued, “We really needed this meet to improve, especially since we have the next couple weeks off.”
Also finishing for the Lady Rattlers were junior Danielle Bass (21:02.61), freshman Gabrielley Downer (21:56.85), sophomore Darah Valville (22:39.38), junior Tiffany Harris (23:42.33) and freshman Whitney Young
“I’m very proud of my runners. They work hard and they’re serious about what they do,” said men’s and women’s head coach Rey Robinson of both team’s performances over the weekend and throughout the season.
The Disney Cross Country Classic concluded regular season competition for the Rattlers and Lady Rattlers, who now await the MEAC Championship, taking place on Oct. 29.
“We have two weeks to put in some mileage in hopes of winning the conference,” said Robinson, whose men are currently ranked second in the conference solely behind Norfolk State University.
The Rattlers hope to improve on a third place performance in the 2004 MEAC Championship. The Lady Rattlers, currently ranked fourth in the MEAC, hope to exceed their ranking and build on their fourth place conference finish in the 2004 championship.
“I feel, if we get our minutes together, we have a good shot at taking the championship,” said Osborne.
Thomas agreed and also cited this as the team’s “best season, since I’ve been here.” Citing increasing numbers and dedication as reasons for success.
“On the women’s side, we have more of a team this year. More runners who are willing to stick with it.”
Contact Reginald Snowden at firstname.lastname@example.org