Daytona Beach, Fla. - Wet and muddy conditions on the racecourse did not prevent the Stetson men's and women's cross country teams from claiming second and third place finishes, respectively, in the Asics Embry-Riddle Classic on Saturday. Two Hatters of each gender finished in their race's top 10, led by sophomore Andrew Epifanio (DeLand, Fla.) for the men and senior Maria Harper (Tallahassee, Fla.) for the women.
In the men's 8K, which was delayed by pre-race lightning and downpours, Epifanio was the first non-ERAU Eagle across the finish line, taking fifth place in 29:00.23. He was followed less than a minute later in eighth place by junior Kyle Burton (Oviedo, Fla.) in 29:54.05.
Freshman Jeremy Butler (Mims, Fla.) ran an excellent 31:04.98 to lock down 16th place in the 59-runner field; junior Brian Dughi (Jacksonville, Fla.) also ran a sub-33 minute 8K, taking 28th place in 32:16.66. Stetson's final scorer in its top five was sophomore Deryck Greene (Jacksonville, Fla.) who ran a 33:32.48 for 35th place overall.
Host Embry-Riddle had the top four finishers in the race and seven of the top 10 overall to easily claim first place with 17 points. Stetson took second with 75 points, out-scoring South Georgia College (84), the ERAU Alumni team (110), Bethune-Cookman (118), the Air Force ROTC Detachment (123) and The Flock (189), an Embry-Riddle student organization that fielded an entry in this year's meet.
STETSON MEN'S RESULTS
5) Andrew Epifanio - 29:00.23; 8) Kyle Burton - 29:54.05; 16) Jeremy Butler - 31:04.98; 28) Brian Dughi - 32:16.66; 35) Deryck Greene - 33:32.48; 37) Peter Davis - 34:09.91; 40) Alexander Kempinski - 34:32.97; 41) Angelo Parkinson - 36:08.41; 51) Matthew Ady - 40:07.36
Harper was the top Stetson finisher in the women's 5K, taking seventh place in 21:00.38 and getting strong support from sophomore Sabrina Guzsvany (Port Orange, Fla.), who crossed the line in 21:20.84 for ninth place, her first top 10 as a Hatter.
Five more Stetson harriers placed in the top 30, led by 22nd and 24th place finishes from freshman Christine Iseley (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore Tabitha Castrillon (Orlando, Fla.), respectively. Their times were 24:00.52 and 24:21.95. Senior Stephanie Bird (Rockledge, Fla.), sophomore Shannon Harrell (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and sophomore Olena Vlasyuk (Palm Coast, Fla.) hit the finish line one after another in places 28-29-30; Bird was the fifth and final team scorer. Also running today for Stetson were senior Katrina McKay (Lisbon Falls, Maine) and sophomore Gisela Fernandez (Gainesville, Fla.).
Embry-Riddle claimed the team championship with 20 points; Bethune-Cookman, led by individual medalist Kadian Dunkley, finished with 71 points to narrowly edge Stetson (76) for second. The ERAU alumni squad and South Georgia College rounded out the field with 95 and 113 points, respectively.
STETSON WOMEN'S RESULTS
7) Maria Harper - 21:00.38; 9) Sabrina Guzsvany - 21:20.84; 22) Christine Iseley - 24:00.52; 24) Tabitha Castrillon - 24:21.95; 28) Stephanie Bird - 26:13.32; 29) Shannon Harrell - 26:50.52; 30) Olena Vlasyuk - 27:09.85; 33) Katrina McKay - 28:07.68; 40) Gisela Fernandez - 31:38.16
The Hatters take part in their final regular season tuneup for the A-Sun Championships on Friday, October 14, when they travel to Orlando for the UCF Black and Gold Challenge. The meet is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm.
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