The Florida A&M men’s cross country team participated in the Florida State Invitational on Fri., Sept. 23 at Appalachee Regional Park, gathering up 346 points and a 12th place finish.
This week’s overall performance did not exactly live up to the team’s elevated expectations.
“We didn’t compete as well as expected. Last year, we were a little farther along. This was our first 8-Kilometer, and we seemed to struggle today,” head coach Wayne Angel said. “But that’s my job and responsibility – to fix it. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
Lack of conservative running appeared to be the theme of FAMU’s performance during the FSU Invitational.
Shuaib Winters, who took the tape in 26:32 with a 17th place finish, agrees with this notion.
“I just have to work on my race strategy. The training is there,” Winters said. “I have to work on going out at a more conservative pace. Also, I have to up my pain threshold so I can run a little fast when I’m hurting.”
Dieumy Duclos, who finished 61st in 28:10, believes minor early-race adjustments are the key to a better outing next week.
“Next time, we will definitely do better. Personally, I just need to run better,” Duclos said. “I took off a little too fast. I came to the first mile at 4:58, and we were supposed to reach that point at around 5:10 or 5:12. If we hit consistent splits instead of fast miles that slower us down, we’ll perform better.”
Despite the team’s lack-luster performance, Angel sees no reason to press the panic button.
“We’re going to be fine. We just have to go back, work on some things and figure out what happened today,” Angel said. It’s early enough in the season, so there are things that we can fix. We’ll just work on them and chop this meet up as experience.”
Other notable finishes included Lamere Buchanan, who finished 68th in 28:32; Degion Craddock, who took 98th in 32:21; Robyel Kindane, who took 102nd in 32:21 and Isaiah Coleman, who finished 112th in 42:22.
FAMU will return to action here in Tallahassee, Fla. on Sat., Oct. 1 as they will participate in the 3rd Annual Bobby Lang Invitational.