Florida Tech Cross Country Features Wave of New Runners

By  //  August 20, 2013

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men and women seasons begin Sept. 6

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech’s runners started arriving back at the Clemente Center early Thursday morning after completing their second run in preparation for the upcoming 2013 cross country season.

Jansen Willse
Jansen Willse

Both the men’s and the women’s teams began the hour-long run at the Clemente Center around 6:15 a.m. before returning to cool down.

“We have a big group of new kids and they’re from different states,” head coach Pete Mazzone said.

“We’re trying to get them used to practicing in the morning, getting them used to Florida and the humidity, new beds, a new environment – new everything. That’s what this week is about.”


Five new faces – one junior college transfer and four freshmen – join the men’s team. On the women’s side are seven first-year runners at FIT, including four-year women’s rower Amanda Horbert.

Amanda Horbert

The 2012 season marked the best season in school history for the men’s team, which took third in the NCAA Division II South Region Championship, and for the first time ever, qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship.

They also placed second in two of the four invitationals they attended.

“I’m expecting the success to carry on,” Mazzone said.

“Once the new runners get used to the program and the extra distance in races, I’m expecting them to contend for the top five. And I think they expect that themselves.”

With this recent wave of new runners, upperclassmen like junior Zeke Zauner will be looked to provide experience and leadership.

“Last year. we had the best team ever in the history of the school,” Zauner said after the morning run.

“Last year. we had the best team ever in the history of the school,” Zauner said after the morning run.

“This year we want to be a little bit better than that, and if we’re going to do it, this is the year to do it. We have a really strong team.”

Among the returners for the women are Chelsea Forgenie and Ellyn Willse. Both ran for FIT for the first time last season and significantly improved as the season progressed.


Forgenie recorded her best time at the NCAA Division II South Region Championship at 25:07.48.

David Boiywo (left) and Chelsea Forgenie (right) are returning this fall for the Panthers' cross country program. (Florida Tech image)
David Boiywo (left) and Chelsea Forgenie (right) are returning this fall for the Panthers’ cross country program. (Florida Tech image)

Willse placed 26th of 68 runners at 24:54.50 in the Sunshine State Conference Championship leading up to the NCAA race.

“Going into cross country, I was very nervous,” Forgenie said of her first season as a runner.

“I didn’t know what to expect or my potential. I think I really surprised myself with my pace. I’m comfortable, but I’m confident. I want to do better and improve my times.”

Although the team has practiced just a couple times, she is pleased with their effort.

“I’m definitely excited because from the two practices we’ve had, the energy has been so good,” Forgenie said.

“We think we can achieve more of our goals this season.”

The seasons for the men and women begin Sept. 6 at the South Florida Invitational in Tampa. The meet is the first of five regular-season events for both squads.

2013 Men’s Roster FloridaTechSports.com
2013 Women’s Roster FloridaTechSports.com
2013 Schedule FloridaTechSports.com