LAKELAND – Senior Jose Perez captured the individual title at the Moccasin Invitational held here Friday at Holloway Park and Nature Preserve. Perez won the race with a time of 26:47.30 over the hilly 8K course to record his first college race championship. Behind Perez's finish, the Moccasins finished third for a second conseucutive week.
Perez's previous best finish at Florida Southern had been a seventh place finish at the UT Early Bird Classic as a freshman in 2012.
This was the first invitational hosted by Florida Southen since 2010 when then senior Ben Martucci, now the Mocs' head coach, ran to a first place finish. Perez is now the fourth Moccasin to win the FSC Invitational, joining Mariucci (2010), Gary Crossan (1999), and Hennie Schoeman (1988).
Finishing next for the Moccasins was Dean McGregor, who placed fourth with a time of 27:16.30 while Anthony Pollizzi came in 13th with a 27:52.90 time. Kyle Butler was right behind to place 14th with a 27:53.40 time while Cody Van Natter was 38th with a 29:34.30 time. Rounding out the Moccasins top five was Everett Wagner who came in 40th with a 29:53.30 time.
Pedro Cuervo was 52nd with a 30:48.40 time for Florida Southern while Oswaldo Zapata posted a time of 32:18.50 to finish 63rd. Jesse Hudson came in at 33:02.60 for 68th place and Tyler Simmons had a 35:30.90 time for 73rd place.
Saint Leo won the men's race with 54 points while Nova Southeastern was second with 59 points. Florida Southern placed third with 62 points followed by Embry Riddle (82), Florida Tech (119), Valdosta State (145), Tampa (194), Johnson & Wales (262) and Johnson Univ. (263).
Other runners in the top five included Andrew Carpenter of Embry-Riddle who was second with a 27:03.10 time; Christian Oppel of Nova Southeastern who was third with a 27:13.50 time, and Saint Leo's Anthony Deleva was was fifth with a 27:27.30 time.
Florida Southern runs next at the Florida State Invitational on Friday, October 2 in Tallahassee at the Apalachee Regional Park.