National Finals Await FIT Men’s Cross Country Runners
By Space Coast Daily // November 4, 2012
Panthers To Make First NCAA Title Appearance
NEW MARKET, ALABAMA – Florida Tech men’s cross country used a pair of top-five finishes at the NCAA Division II South Regional at Sharon Johnston Park to rank the team in third place, good enough to qualify for its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship.
Two All-Sunshine State Conference Runners did not disappoint for the Panthers as senior Moses Kirui and graduate student Chris Cacciapaglia finished second and third, respectively, to lead the Crimson and Gray.
Kirui’s 31:47.40 time came in just eight seconds behind Alabama-Huntsville runner Blaise Binns, while SSC Runner of the Year Cacciapaglia finished 14 seconds later. UAH runner Jose Ortega came in 11 seconds later to secure the second place team position for the host institution.
Fellow SSC school Nova Southeastern brought home the team title with a strong four top-20 finishers. Nova, UAH and Florida Tech will move on to the NCAA National Championships in Joplin, Mo. on Nov. 17.
Another All-SSC runner David Boiywo added another top-25 finish for the Panthers with a time of 33:08.89. Ross Russell and Ezekiel Zauner rounded out the scoring for FIT with 39th and 48th place finishes, respectively.
While this is the first team qualification for the Panthers, the Crimson and Gray are no strangers to the national stage. Last year, Kirui was the top South Region runner, qualifying for the national championship in Spokane, Wash.