Saturday, July 21, 2018

Men's cross-country returns to Florida State College-Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville will field a men's cross-country team in 2018.

"Our scholarships are limited, but we are excited as we believe this is a great sport to add for the students at FSCJ and the region," stated FSCJ Director of Athletics Ginny Alexander. "We have approximately 7-8 students wanting to run, so this looks very promising. Coach Jody Hale will coach both MCX and WCX."

The return of men's cross-country to FSCJ is important in itself, but it also impacts the sport statewide. The FSCJ BlueWave brings the number of men's junior college programs in Florida to four, the threshold for holding a state championship race. Florida's junior college women have been competing at the FJCAA Region 8 / FCSAA championship meet since 2016, racing five kilometers. On Friday, 26 October 2018 the men be at the meet as well. The 2018 state championship will be held at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida, and the men will race eight kilometers.

Tallahassee Community College spearheaded the restoration of men's cross-country in Florida's junior colleges, adding a men's team in 2017. Daytona State College has already announced plans to field a men's team in 2018, as has Seminole State College.

In 2017, five Florida colleges competed in women's cross-country--Chipola College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Pasco-Hernando State College, South Florida State College, and Tallahassee Community College. Three more schools have plans to field women's teams in 2018--Florida Gateway College, Daytona State College, and Seminole State College.

In the past, FSCJ men's cross-country built a strong record over the years. The school first sent a men's team to the national championships in 1967. The team placed ninth, the first of four straight top-ten showings for FSCJ from 1967 to 1970. That run included a fourth-place performance in 1969, the best finish for a men's team in FSCJ history. The FSCJ men also placed eleventh in 1974, nineteenth in 1983, sixteenth in 1985, tenth in 1986, and tenth in 1987. From 2018 forward, the BlueWave's harriers will get to build on that tradition.


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