Florida A&M’s women’s cross country team competed in the Florida State Invitational Friday at Appalachee Regional Park.
The Lady Rattlers had runners to rank in the top 40, and had times under 20 minutes. Despite big name universities, and humid conditions, the team performed well.
Sophomore Chandelic Jackson finished first among the team’s performers, coming in 35th with a time of 19:39 in the 5k run. Right behind Jackson, junior Nadine Mulvaney finished 36th at 19:43.
Simone Durden (19:45.81) raced to a 39th place finish and Clarricia Golden (19:46.51) came in 40th.
Jackson said she was impressed by the team’s performance and by the way they helped each other finish strong.
“Everybody stepped up,” Jackson said. “Our top five really came together, but we’re all very competitive. We came to compete.”
Head coach Darlene Moore said the team did just what she hoped, improve on its way to the conference championship.
“I’m very pleased,” Moore said. “Our top six finishers ran a personal best. This course is similar to the one used for the championship, so we will be familiar.”
This weekend the Lady Rattlers will compete in the 3rd annual Bobby Lane Invitational. Coach Moore plans to use the meet as a measurement tool and a way to improve the teams performances.
“We’re going to work on the last mile of the race,” Moore said. “We want to get those 19 minute times down to 18 minutes.”
The team’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship is approaching, and Moore wants to be prepared to take the crown.
“Tonight was a great team effort,” Moore said. “It’s that same effort we’re going to need to bring in the MEAC.”