LAKELAND, Fla.—The Southeastern University men’s cross country team came away with a win in its first meet of the year, and nearly pulled off a perfect score in doing so.
SEU had seven of the first eight runners across the line, scoring 17 points and cruising to victory.
“We had the goal to win the race and what we were focused on without using too much energy,” said coach Paul Kurtz. “Our guys didn’t look like they were exhausted at the end, so we’ll see how much this takes out of us for next week when we run in a bigger race with more competition.”
The top seven Fire runners put together a combined team time for the 6K race of 1:44:16, which was nearly seven minutes faster than second place Florida College.
Newcomer Mario Perez was the top finisher for Southeastern, placing second overall behind an unattached runner in a time of 20:15.
“Coach (Kurtz) gave us paces to go off of and I think we went a little faster than we were supposed to, but I felt good,” said Perez. “The point was to be controlled and relaxed and have a good solid effort.”
Junior Jordan Gonzalez was 14 seconds back of Perez to finish third. Freshman John Perez-Dunn was fifth overall just three seconds behind Gonzalez.
Christopher Pinedo was ninth across the line in 21:16 and Stephen Ward rounded out the scoring in 10th overall and sixth among scoring runners in 21:30.
Michael Holden placed 12th in 21:33, followed by David Milburn five seconds later.
The Fire return to action a week from today at the University of Florida Mountain Dew Invitational.