LAKELAND, FL – The 2018 season began with a win for the Florida Southern women's cross-country team as the Moccasins took seven of the top 13 positions overall, and had 10 of the top 15 Division II runners at the Holloway Park Preseason Festival. The Mocs overwhelmed the field in their first cross-country meet under new head coach Stephanie Bylander by scoring 34 points to Saint Leo's 80, and though Saint Leo had the individual champion, the Mocs' first seven runners crossed the finish line before the Lions' second.
The meet featured two of the top teams in the South Region, with Saint Leo ranked No. 4 and Florida Southern No. 5 in the USTFCCCA South Region preseason rankings. The Moccasins made a statement by out-scoring the Lions by 46 points, and with an average time that was 33 seconds faster. They were paced by freshman Sarah Zamot, who was the D-II runner-up and fourth overall in 20:15.7.
Saint Leo senior Laura Tobin was the individual champion in 19:47.9, but the Lions' next runner was 15 spots behind her. In between came seven Moccasins, including the pack-leading Zamot. Those seven runners were separated by a total of 33 seconds, crossing one right after another, with sophomore Hannah Flemming, junior Ysabella Guerra, sophomore Mercedes Mendoza, and senior Aleksa Guerra completing the scoring for Florida Southern as top-10 finishers overall.
The Moccasins will be off from competition next weekend before returning to action on Saturday, September 15 at the Embry-Riddle Classic in Daytona Beach.
COMPLETE FSC RESULTS (Places are for Division II runners):
2.) Sarah Zamot, 20:15.7 (finished 4th overall)
3.) Hannah Flemming, 20:20.1 (finished 6th overall)
4.) Ysabella Guerra, 20:29.0 (finished 7th overall)
5.) Mercedes Mendoza, 20:29.9 (finished 8th overall)
6.) Aleksa Guerra, 20:37.6 (finished 9th overall)
7.) Jolene Vergauwen, 20:42.3 (finished 12th overall)
8.) Stephanie Hansen, 20:48.7 (finished 13th overall)
13.) Haley Rodriguez, 21:45.5 (finished 25th overall)
14.) Anna Brook Opalinski, 22:05.8 (finished 28th overall)
15.) Amber Winton, 22:15.9 (finished 30th overall)