LAKELAND, Fla.- Florida Southern College's women's cross country program will begin its 2019 campaign on Saturday at the UF Mountain Dew Invite. Hosted at the University of Florida Golf Course, the women will race at 8:30 a.m. on the 5k course.
"I'm excited to get this season going," head coach Stephanie Bylander said. "We'll be without two of our typical top three this weekend but I anticipate they'll be back in the line-up soon."
The Moccasins are entering their second year under Bylander, whose first season was highlighted with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA South Regional Championships, the teams best since 2007.
"For this weekend, the focus is on running as a team and being aggressive in the middle third of the race," Bylander said. "This is a theme that will carry on throughout the season for us as we aim for the team's first NCAA Championship berth in over 10 years."
The USTFCCCA All-Academic, USTFCCCA All-Region, All-SSC 1st Team and SSC All-Championship Team duo of Addison Cantor and Hannah Flemming are looking to help drive their program to their first NCAA Division II National Championships in 13 years.
The Mocs start their year ranked third in the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Coaches Poll and fourth in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason South Region Poll. After Gainesville, the team will split to tackle the FLRunners Invitational at Holloway Park on Sept. 27 and the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. on Sept. 28. The team will then travel to the Royals Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 11.
The team will get a week off before heading to Boca Raton, Fla. to begin their postseason push at the SSC Championships on Oct. 26. Florida Southern will be hosting the NCAA South Region Championships for the third-straight year at Holloway Park in Lakeland, Fla. on Nov. 9, where the team will hope to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships (Nov. 23) in Sacramento, Calif.