Men’s cross country finshes first, women’s finshes second

To kickoff the season, the Cross Country teams were introduced to their new head coach, Darlene Moore.

Coach Moore’s last coaching job was at Albany State University where she helped  the Lady Golden Rams win back-to-back Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

“I am excited about this opportunity to be at Florida A&M. I made up my mind that I wanted to coach on the Division I level and FAMU has always been my dream job.  I want to recruit the strongest, fastest and smartest student-athletes to FAMU, so that we can elevate our program to compete on a national level. I want us to be competitive right away,” Moore said.

The Rattlers  have   competed in two previous meets including the University of Florida Invitational.  The men’s team finished in 15th place while the women’s team finished 23rd.

“The first two meets we did pretty good. We were competitive in the races and it was a great starting point so I know how to evaluate the students and we’re hoping to keep working hard throughout the meets and get ready for the MEAC Championship,” Moore said.

Paul Williams Jr., a second-year student on the team, was asked about his goals and aspirations.

“I want our team to finish in the top 5 in the MEAC and I want to try to go 27 low,” Williams said.

The Rattlers hosted their first Bobby Lang Cross Country Invitational this past Saturday.

The event was named in honor of Bobby Lang, who was a legendary FAMU track and field coach. The men’s team ran eight kilometers/five miles and the women ran five kilometers/three miles.

The teams that were represented in the invitational were Albany State University, Bethune Cookman University, and FAMU.

The Rattlers men’s team showed up at the race and meant business. They made history by coming in 1st place overall at their first Bobby Lang Invitational.

Leading the way for the Rattlers was Lamere Buchanan (28:08.35) followed by Paul Williams Jr. (29:31.38), Artiom Podgainii (30:12.50), Isaiah Coleman (30:19.25), Brandon Alexander (31:02.56), Robert Bogle (34:34.72), Damarius Carroll (34:53.44) and Arthur Kinder (37:41.10). Daquam Lee (28:54.32), a third-year runner ran unattached.

“They actually performed better than the last couple of meets they ran and so I was impressed by their performances today,” Lee said.

Artiom Podgainii, a fourth-year student who once played tennis for FAMU, came in 5th place.

“I think I did pretty good, I improved my time definitely and I helped the team to win the whole event,” Podgainii said.

Even though the Rattlers came in 1st place there are some things that they must improve in order to actually compete in the MEAC Championship.

“Even though we pulverized one of our MEAC competitors, BCU, we have to get our times a little faster,” said third-year runner Arthur Kinder.

“It’s not really about the place right now, it’s about getting our times down and preparing for MEAC at this moment,” Lee said.

The women’s team also competed in the event and finished in 2nd place overall falling to Albany State University. The Lady Rattlers were lead by Jeanette Hulse (22:09.38) followed by Latoya Wright (23:48.06), Samantha Young (24:17.19), Tiffiny Morrow (24:48.79), Keelyn Fleming (25:01.94) and Ann-Marie Francis (25:04.00).

The next Cross Country meet that the Rattlers will participate in will be the Florida State University Invitational. It will be held in Tallahassee on Saturday.