Friday October 8, 2010Schanen, Perkins and Strasser Lead Gator Cross Country at FSU Invitational
Florida’s cross country squads used an 8K victory and course record from sophomore Alex Schanen (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) and two top-10 5K finishes on the women’s side from sophomore Mandy Perkins (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and freshman Stephanie Strasser (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) to lead the Gator men and women to second (55 points) and fifth-place (106 points) finishes, respectively, at the FSU Invitational at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee Friday evening. Florida State claimed first in the men’s competition, while Stephen F. Austin, FSU, North Florida and USF claimed first through fourth on the women’s side.
“Everybody we brought up to the FSU Invitational ran really well,” assistant track and cross country coach Todd Morgan said. “We had great competition in terms of our athletes competing for a spot on our SEC squad.”
Florida, who reserved the top half of its men’s and women’s lineups for the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., Oct. 16, sent several Gator runners from each team, all potential SEC Championship contenders, to Tallahassee to fight for the final spots in the 10-person SEC race, which will be held Nov. 1 in Columbia, S.C.
The Gators faced competition in Florida State, Florida Southern, North Florida, University of Tampa, Stephen F. Austin, Troy, South Florida, Fort Valley State, the Florida Track Club and Edward Waters in the collegiate/open competition in Tallahassee Friday.
Schanen walked away with his first collegiate victory, clocking a 24:45.3 as the top finisher in the men’s field of 114 runners, while junior Michael Anderson (Williston, Fla.) came in sixth and brother, Geoffrey Anderson (Williston, Fla.), finished 13th in the field as UF’s second and third scorers. Gator freshmen Tyler Davidson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) and Erick Montoya (Estero, Fla.) hung together in 16th and 19th to complete the scoring lineup for the Gators as the fourth and fifth UF finishers in the collegiate men’s race.
“Alex Schanen ran great and won his first collegiate race, and it’s not easy to win a college cross country race. He set a course record and ran really well,” Morgan added. “Also, Michael Anderson had a good run behind Alex. On the women’s side, Mandy Perkins showed big improvement to lead the women’s team and Steph Strasser also had a strong run for us.”
Perkins and Strasser led the way for the women’s squad as the first and second scorers, Perkins turning in a 17:47.7, good for third place overall and Strasser clocking an 18:05.6, tenth-place race. Freshman Sarah Davis (Jacksonville, Fla.) tallied a top-15 finish with a time of 18:23.8 (14th). Redshirt freshman Brittany Koziara (Orlando, Fla.) made her first appearance of the season, tallying 31 points for UF as the fourth scorer and enior Alison Babb (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Ashley Usery (St. Louis, Mo.) rounded out Florida’s women’s competitors in 38th and 62nd in the women’s college field.
Florida will return to action for the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., next Saturday, Oct. 16. The Gators will run at 11 a.m. (ET). Results and a recap will be posted on www.GatorZone.com following competition.
MEN’S TOP 10 TEAM FINISHES
1. Florida State, 41 points
2. Florida, 55 points
3. Stephen F. Austin, 69 points
4. Florida Southern, 117 points
5. North Florida, 145 points
6. Tampa, 170 points
7. South Florida, 171 points
8. Troy University, 183 points
9. Florida Track Club, 230 points
10. Fort Valley State, 330 points
UF MEN’S FINISHERS (collegiate race)
1. Alex Schanen, 24:45.3
6. Michael Anderson, 25:05.1
13. Geoffrey Anderson, 25:29.3
16. Tyler Davidson, 25:38.3
19. Erick Montoya, 25:47.7
WOMEN’S TOP 10 TEAM FINISHES
1. Stephen F. Austin, 45 points
2. Florida State, 82 points
3. North Florida, 88 points
4. South Florida, 90 points
5. Florida, 106 points
6. Tampa, 125 points
7. Florida Track Club, 167 points
8. Troy University, 208 points
9. Florida Southern, 266 points
10. Fort Valley State, 303 points
UF WOMEN’S FINISHERS (collegiate race)
3. Mandy Perkins, 17:46.7
10. Stephanie Strasser, 18:05.6
14. Sarah Davis, 18:23.8
31. Brittany Koziara, 19:12.6
48. Alison Babb, 20:09.7
62. Ashley Usery, 22:60
1. Shelby Kittrell, North Florida, 17:34.7