Injured runner succeeds at NCAA regional meet

By Brittney Gibely |

Sophomore Alex Bonus saw the race as a fresh start after a season of disappointment.

A member of the Flagler College men’s cross country team, the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship in Wingate, North Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 7 held special meaning for Bonus.

“After nursing an injury in my hip for a month, I saw this race as a turnaround point — a chance to redeem myself after a bunch of so-so races,” said Bonus.

Bonus, who had high hopes for the season, was thrown off course when he developed problems with his hip last month. Forced to spend part of his season confined to the pool and the elliptical, he was prepared to not allow his hip to defeat him.

“I was ready to go, but more importantly our team was ready,” said Bonus. “We’ve improved as a group so much this season and this was our chance to show it off.”

The team placed 14th with 393 points. Michael Lambert, from Orlando, placed 43rd with a time of 35:04. He placed 12th out of all the runners from PBC schools.

“After most races I’m exhausted,” said Lambert. “Once you see your time and place it feels accomplishing and suddenly all of that pain seems to go away. On the ride home when you’re feeling a lot better you look back and realize it was all worth it.”

Next up for the Flagler runners was John Granatino from Kansas City, who finished 77th with a time of 36:26, while Bonus placed 86th with a time of 36:26. He was followed by Richard Johnston in 91st place with a time of 37:02. Last up for the Flagler scorers was Derek Casciano in 105th place with a time of 37:40.

“Although my time didn’t reflect where I wanted to be at this point in the season, I couldn’t help but be proud of the team — everybody put their heart and soul into the race and we achieved our goals and beat expectations,” said Bonus. “It was a successful season.”

Though the cross country season ended with the regional meet, the team is looking forward to next year and has already begun practicing.

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