LAKELAND, Fla. - After a stellar third place finish at the 2019 Sunshine State Conference Championships two weeks ago, Florida Southern men's cross country is set to compete in the NCAA South Region Championships on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. at the Holloway Park in Lakeland.
The Mocs enter the race ranked fifth in the region and are coming off strong performances at the SSC Championships, where Mason Jones and Josh Wagner both finished in the top five and were named All-SSC First Team. Mitchell Kozik was named to the All-SSC Second Team after his 11th place finish.
Florida Southern is vying for its fourth regional title, having previously lifted the trophy in 2007, 2013 and in 2014. Last year, the team finished third behind a fifth place finish from Jones, where he turned in the second fastest time for any Moc in an NCAA Regional (31:58.63). Wagner took 15th last year while Kozik took 31st.
The top three teams will secure a spot in the NCAA Division II National Championships, which is set to take place at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, Calif. On Nov. 28.
Southern is led by a junior trio of Jones, Wagner and Kozik, who are coming off a record breaking season. Jones led the Moccasins in every race this season finishing all four races in the top 15 and twice in the top 10. He highlighted his season so far by capturing the 10K school record with a blistering 24:14.5 run at the Royals Cross Country Challenge on Oct. 11.
Wagner finished second for the Mocs in all four of his races this season, including a 20th place finish with a time of 26:19.1 at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 28 and a fourth place finish at the SSC Championships. Kozik finished third for Southern in three races this season, including a 30th place performance with a time of 26:37.4 at the Roy Griak Invitational.
This year's region field is comprised of 23 teams including two nationally ranked teams, No. 9 Alabama-Huntsville and No. 12 Lee (Tenn.). Saint Leo is receiving votes. All ten teams ranked in the Week 6 USTFCCCA South Region Poll will be in attendance.
More information on the race can be found here.