LAKELAND, FL – The Daytona State Men's and Women's Cross Country teams traveled to the Holloway Park XC Preseason Festival for the first race of the season. The women's team finished in 4th place, out of eight teams. "We got one under our belt today. Out of the six runners that ran the race for us, only one ran cross-country in the fall of 2017. For some, this was their first ever cross-country race, and for others, it was their first race back after not competing last year. We are going to use each meet this season as a way to learn how to race and compete. We have a great group of people in attitude and willingness to be coached. I'm excited to be working with them" said Coach Judy Wilson after the race.
Freshman Kris Gray, who graduated high school in 1988 and ran a 5:06 mile in the state of Wisconsin that year, was the first runner to cross the finish for the Falcons. She now owns the school record with a 22:02. She placed 26th in a field where she is 30 years older than the other competitors did. Gray commented after the race, "It was exciting making history running our first race as DSC women's cross country. We started on a real, true cross country course with mud and lots of twists and turns."
Coach Judy Wilson has been impressed with Gray and said, "A former fire fighter, Kris is a very fit individual. When she figures out what to do out there, I see her running much faster over 5k. She is stronger and faster than she thinks she is."
The Falcon runners behind Gray are of the traditional college age. Moriya Patsch, a 2017 Seabreeze High School grad, was the Falcon's 2nd runner and finished in place with a time of 22:59; Janie Davidson, a 2017 graduate of Spruce Creek High School, finished third for the Falcons in 27th place with a time of 23:27; Baylee Mills, a 2017 graduate of Flagler Palm Coast HS, finished in 42nd place with a time of 25:18; Carol Adams, a 2018 DeLand HS graduate, finished in 52nd place and ran a time of 27:20 after stopping to help an injured runner; and Hannah Brown, a graduate of South Brunswick (NJ), rounded out the Falcon runners with a place of 55th and a time of 27:53.
Next up for the squad is the University of North Florida Invite this Friday, Sep 7th, at 6:45pm at the UNF Golf Complex, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville.