FGCU athletics roundup: Eagle runner takes individual title, makes history at UCF Invitational
ORLANDO - Grad student Osman Humeida (South Riding, Va./Freedom HS/Virginia Tech) took the individual title at the UCF Invitational Friday and helped the FGCU men's cross country team to a third place overall finish in the highly competitive meet, becoming the first Eagle to win the individual title at the Invitational in the program's history.
The Virginia native stopped the clock in 15:32.1 a full 12 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Josh Stern from Florida.
"It's always exciting to have an individual champion. Osman ran a smart race alongside his teammate Bus (senior Baker (Richmond, Va. Appomattox Regional Governor's School Radford/Louisville), they were patient, and finished strong. Also Matt [Speruta] really stepped up for us in his first collegiate race," said Head Coach Cassandra Goodson.
"On the women's side I was really proud of how everybody kept fighting. Karley [Piers] being our top finisher and getting those low points, Gabby [Spain] with her first collegiate race helped and Blake [Petrick] and Reilly [Ritter] have really grown since last year as fierce competitors. I'm also really proud of Emme [Beaupre] being out a lot of last season having her first race back. That was exciting. This is a good start to the season. Both teams put in a good effort. They ran together and beat some good teams."
Joining Humeida in the top 10 was Baker who placed ninth (15:59.8) and freshman Matthew Speruta (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida Baker HS) who took the 22nd spot (15:57.00) in the first collegiate race of his career. Junior Abel Ramos (Riverside, Calif. /Riverside CC) and freshman Israel Gamez (Ruskin, Fla. /Lennard HS) each finished among the top 30 recording 25th (16:44.6) and 30th (16:58.6) place finishes, respectively.
Florida earned first place with seven runners among the top 12 to finish with a total of 27 points, Miami was second with 66 and the Eagles finished in third spot with a total of 84 points. Stetson was fourth with 91 points.
The women's team finished sixth overall and was led by sophomore Karley Piers (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth HS) who finished just outside the top 10 runners in 11th place with a time of 19:03.6. Freshman Gabrielle Spain (Sioux Falls, S.D./Sioux Falls Washington HS) finished 22nd (19:40.5) with sophomore Blake Petrick (St. Johns, Fla. /Creekside HS) following closely behind to take the 27th spot. FGCU will return to action on Friday, Sept. 16 when the Eagles head to the North Alabama Showcase at the John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Alabama.
The FGCU women's soccer team got a late goal from senior Grace Paradis (Kingston, N.H./Sanborn HS/St. John's) to take down Florida Atlantic, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Pickering Field. Paradis just got her head on the ball in the 89th minute as the Eagles improved to 2-3 while the Owls fall to 2-2-2.
"Phenomenal result for us," said Head Coach Jim Blankenship. "We haven't gotten the results we've wanted, but I've been telling them to stay focused and that we are getting better each game. FAU is the best team we've played so far and our defense played great and we got rewarded for it at the end."
The Eagles will look to carry the momentum into their next contest on Thursday when they travel to Tallahassee to take on #9 Florida State. Kickoff against the defending national champions is set for 7 p.m.
MEN'S SOCCER AGAINST UCF DECLARED NO CONTEST
The men's soccer match between UCF and FGCU was declared a no contest due to weather Friday night. The game was called in the 39th minute with the score even at one after it started at about 8:50 p.m. due to a lightning delay.
UCF scored in the 10th minute, but graduate student Javoney Brown answered just three minutes later. Officially, however, both goals will not go toward each player's statistics.
The Eagles will return to action Sept. 9 when they hit the road to take on Georgia Southern.
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