The 2018 men's cross country season gets underway this Saturday at 7:30 a.m. with the Holloway Park Preseason Festival in Lakeland. The Moccasins will be under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Levassiur who had served as an assistant at Florida Southern for the previous three seasons.
"As a first-time NCAA head coach, I'm hoping to weather the transition process and learn from the many mistakes I'm sure I'll make this season," says Levassiur.
"With the support of Athletic Director, Pete Meyer, and the entire FSC athletic department behind me, I know that I'll have the support I need to build on the program's long-running (pun intended) success in the conference and region."
Levassiur's Moccasins are ranked fifth in the USTFCCCA South Region preseason poll after coming off a fourth-place finish in the 2017 NCAA South Region Championship which was held on the same Holloway Park course.
Sophomore Mason Jones, the 2017 Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year, will lead Florida Southern. Jones was named to the SSC first-team in his first season with the Moccasins and was also named to the SSC All-Championship Team. He was FSC's top finisher in two races last season and placed in the top three Mocs in five races.
Senior Dean McGregor, who was the 2015 SSC Freshman of the Year, also was in the top three Moccasin finishers in each of last season's five meets. Like Jones, McGregor was named to both the All-SSC first-team and SSC All-Championship Teams.
Fellow senior Everett Wagner, juniors Warran Grajalez (All-SSC second team and SSC All-Championship Team) and Brandon Williams return along with a trio of sophomores in Joshua Wagner, Brian Martin, and Mitchell Kozik, to give Levassiur an experienced squad.
Following the Holloway Park Festival, the Moccasins will compete at the Embry-Riddle Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Sept. 15 and then head to Gainesville, Fla. to compete at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational on Sept. 22.
The 2018 SSC Championship will be held in Daytona Beach on Nov. 3 with the NCAA South Regional returning to Holloway Park on Nov. 17.