Saturday’s men’s cross-country race was not a simple walk in the park, however. The Florida A&M men’s cross-country team capitalized on home-field advantage during the third annual Bobby Lang Invitational on Sat. Oct. 1, gathering up 32 points and a first-place victory.
“They did what I asked them to do. They engaged the opposition and executed everything I asked them to do,” head coach Wayne Angel said. “They overcame a difficult course and were able to pull out a win. You cannot be upset with that.”
After evaluating his team’s overall performance at the invitational, Angel is heading into the Mid-Eastern Conference Championship on Oct. 29 with great confidence.
“The good thing is that everyone ran personal bests. Overall, we’re in a great position heading into the
MEAC Championship,” Angel said. “It’s about four weeks away, and I think we are progressing along just fine. We’re looking to be a top-three team at the MEAC.”
Leading the team to victory was Shuaib Winters (25:20.00), who tied the course record and finished first overall.
“I’m sitting right where I was last year. This race was a huge confidence booster,” Winters said. “I was really looking out for my overall time, especially since the MEAC Championship isn’t too far away.”
Where the team’s collective performance is concerned, Winters was equally pleased.
“I think the team did great,” Winters said. “Last year we came in second-place, so I’m happy we were able to improve this time around and not let anyone down.”
Lamere Buchanan (26:51.56), who trailed not too far behind Winters with a seventh-place finish, carries a similar attitude toward the team’s performance at the invitational.
“Everyone ran excellent. We all ran personal bests, which is great,” Buchanan said. “This was a rather exciting victory, and it was definitely a confidence booster for us all.”
According to Degion Craddock, the unusual weather during the race was a significant obstacle.
“The cool air made it a pretty tough race this time around. I would have to say that is what impacted me the most,” Craddock said. “I would have run a little bit faster if the weather was a little warmer. Because of the air, I didn’t have a chance to enter my rhythm as quickly as I would have liked.”
In spite of Saturday’s cooler temperatures, the team’s overall performance at the invitational suggests that its skills during this season have progressed considerably faster compared to last year. As it moves forward, the team hopes to continue this adjustment.
Runners who finished in the top-10 included Shuaib Winters (first, 25:20.00), Lamere Buchanan (seventh, 26:51.56), Robyel Kidane (eighth, 27:02.10) and Dieumy Duclose (10th, 27:35.67). Other notable finishers included Degion Craddock (17th, 29:38.28) and Oliver McDaniel (20th, 31:42.89).
FAMU will return to action next Sat. Oct. 8, as they travel down to Orlando, Fla. to compete in the Disney Invitational.