The cross-country team has not won a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship since 1988. But this year, Florida A&M has one of the most dominant duos in conference history – Shuaib Winters and Elias Chesire.
Winters is a third-year construction engineering and technology student from Conyers, Ga. Chesire is a second-year chemical engineering student from Eldoret, Kenya.
The men’s cross-country team defeated perennial MEAC champion Norfolk State University at NCAA Pre-Nationals, finishing fifth at one of the biggest meets in the country.
“What kept me going was the thought that my teammates were pouring their hearts into the race,” Winters said in a previous interview. “And I didn’t want to let them down.”
Head coach Wayne Angel is pleased with the team’s performance this year.
“My initial fears and subsequent plans for this year’s team were unfounded,” Angel said. “Their performance this past weekend in Louisville demonstrated to me that these young men are not only hungry for success but that they are very talented and tough.”
Angel said the cross-country team is prepared for the challenge of the MEAC Championship because the runners are mentally focused and tough. Angel believes they can get the job done and hopes to be standing on the podium when the race is over.
“Their level of maturity, commitment and leadership is far greater than I had imagined,” Angel said. “They are a team of destiny. The only thing that can stop these Rattlers is themselves.”
Dieumy Duclos, a second-year mechanical engineering student from Lake Wales, is excited about this upcoming race.
“The MEAC Championship is something we have been preparing for since the end of last season when we finished runner-up,” Duclos said. “Right now, words can’t explain how ready we are for Saturday.”
FAMU is ranked eighth in the South Region of the U.S. There are nine regions and 15 teams are ranked per region, which means FAMU has one of the best cross-country teams in the country.
The MEAC Cross-Country Championship will be in Princess Ann, Md.