FSCJ men's and women's cross country are the only BlueWave teams competing this fall. They will be competing at the NJCAA Division II level this season and will be one of 55 other junior colleges in the United States making this transition which is competitively a better fit. Cross country is currently the fastest growing sport in the region at the junior college level.
For the women’s team, Coach Hale worked hard to bring the best talent from all over Jacksonville. Almost starting from scratch, Coach Hale recruited five women who attended high schools in the Jacksonville and northeast Florida area. Returning for the women’s team is Hannah Zeigler (Mandarin), Ally Newkirk (Bishop Snyder), Kellee Valero (Duval Charter) and Stephanie Bautista (Lake Region). Newcomers to the team are Shealyn Barbuto (Fleming Island), Bailey May (Bishop Snyder), Kayla Konnick (Middleburg), Bailey Bowles (Bartram Trail) and Emma Brown (Orange Park).
For the men's team, six athletes are returning from last season and one incoming freshman. Returning team members include John Bear (Orange Park), Gage West (Fleming Island), Tyler DeSando (Rockledge), Lucas Van Ginkel (Richmond Hill) and Joe Hale (Bishop Kenny). The newest men’s runner, Kenneth Aldrich (Yulee), hopes to make his mark on the team.
The season kicks off Friday, September 4, in Ocala for the Horse Park Invitational.