The Daytona State men's cross country program captured the team and individual titles at the NJCAA Region 8 championships on Friday. Lead by sophomore Andy Martinez individual win, the Falcon men scored just 28 points, placing three runners in the top five of the field. Lake Sumter scored 54 points, Seminole State College 84 points, FSCJ had 88 points, and Tallahassee CC scored 102 points. Martinez won with a time of 26:01 for the 8000 meter distance on the FSU course that will be host to the NJCAA national cross country meet in 2022. This was also a new NJCAA Region 8 meet record. Martinez was 37 seconds ahead of the next competitor. Sophomore Adam Mastrobuono and freshman Richard Lebron were the second and third runners for Daytona State with times of 27:02 and 27:06, placing them on the All Region team. "Richie was a nice surprise today. He just went out and ran hard. He and Adam beat guys today who had been beating them in past races this season. They just slowly made up ground as the race went on." Coach Judy Wilson commented. Another boost for the team was freshman Adolfo Castro running in fourth for the team. Castro placed 8th overall with a time of 27:33, which was almost 50 seconds faster than his Oct 2nd outing on the same course. With the title in place, the Falcons fifth runner would come down to a trio of Tyler Baker, Tyler Gilbert, and freshman Jesus Clemente. Baker pulled out a slight lead and reached the line to finish 11th overrall, Gilbert in 12th and Clemente in 13th. Freshman Jerdary Ayala finished in 16th place and Dillon Wilson-Beck rounded out the Falcon squad with a 25th place overall. Next up for the Falcons is the NJCAA Division II National Championships in Ft Dodge, IA on November 14th, followed by the NJCAA Division II Half Marathon Championships on November 17th. "We are just taking it one day at a time to get to that starting line on November 14th. If we get everyone on the line healthy, something special could happen." Wilson said.
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