Florida A&M’s women’s cross country team had victory on its mind entering the 3rd annual Bobby Lang Cross Country Invitational Saturday morning.
First place went to Chandelic Jackson (18:47.45). Jackson, a sophomore, has lead the Lady Rattlers for the last two meets. Placing close to Jackson was Nadine Mulvaney (18:49.88), Simone Durden (18:57.99), and Clarrica Golden (19:29.84)
Even though the team was on its home turf, there was no home team advantage. Jackson said knowing the terrain of the course doesn’t eliminate the most important fact about the hills of Tallahassee; they are painful.
“We really didn’t have that home advantage, because the hills kill us as much as we think they kill our competition,” Jackson said.
The team’s times also improved from last week’s Florida State Invitational. Jackson went on to say that she wouldn’t be surprised to see one of her teammates break another milestone in their personal time.
“Our times were great,” Jackson said. “If we keep progressing, we should have at least one girl have a time in the 17’s next meet.”
The 5k course began at the Robert “Pete” Griffin track, and went beyond places like Martin Luther King Street, the Al Lawson Center and Wahnish Way.
Jackson said the team went into the meet with confidence, and were only expectin to win.
“Before meets we talk among ourselves to keep each other hype,” Jackson said. “We talk about how great we’re going to do and most of all how we’re going to bring in a win.”
Among the Lady Rattlers were colleges Albany State University and Bethune-Cookman University.
Head coach Darlene Moore said that she was elated with the team’s performance Saturday. The team had four girls rank in the top five runners.
“Just as I expected, they performed like I knew they would,” Moore said.
Next up for the Lady Rattlers is the Stetson Invitational in DeLand, Fla. Two weeks after the Stetson Invitational is the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship in Princess Anne, Maryland.
Moore said that she is confident in the team’s ability to bring home a championship for FAMU.
“We most definitely showed that we’re ready to bring that crown home,” Moore said. “We’re going to start our peek training which includes working on our speed, working on our stamina, and reducing our times.”