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Cross Country Headline

Photo courtesy of Jason Roberts, Envision Sports Media

Friday September 9, 2011Gator Men's Cross Country Wins USF Invitational; Women Place Fourth

Tampa, Fla.

Photo courtesy of Jason Roberts, Envision Sports Media

Florida’s cross country squads saw some new faces step up Friday at the South Florida Invitational in Tampa, as the No. 26 Gator men claimed a first-place team finish (39 points), while the No. 22 women checked in fourth in the 13-team women’s field with 107 points. Freshman Phil Duncan (Orlando, Fla.) posted the best finish for the Gators in the men’s 8K with a fourth-place mark of 26:02.74, while junior Mandy Perkins (Ormond Beach, Fla.) turned in a third place, 17.58.97, 5K run to lead the Orange and Blue on the women’s side. Florida’s men placed all five runners in the top 11, while three UF women’s runners clocked top-11 finishes as well. The home team USF Bulls claimed the overall team title on the women’s side, with FAU (99) and Tampa (102) in second and third, respectively.


"We saw some very positive things from some of our younger runners today,” Gator assistant track and field and cross country coach Todd Morgan said. “By running a different line-up, some people had to respond to different pressures put on them and they responded well. Mandy (Perkins), Tenley (Godfrey), and Grace (VanDeGrift) are improving every week. It was also a much more focused effort by our freshmen guys. It was good to have Alex Schanen back with us today as well. He is coming along nicely, and is going to give us some solid depth."


Out of Florida’s 10 competitors in Tampa, eight were freshmen led by juniors Alex Schanen (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) and Perkins as veterans on the men’s and women’s sides, respectively. For the four UF freshmen men, including Duncan, Alex Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.), Eduardo Garcia (Jacksonville, Fla.) and John-Logan Hines (Orlando, Fla.), Friday evening’s race marked their first collegiate 8K races after the Orange and Blue kicked off the season with a 5K at the Western Carolina Invitational Sept. 2. Behind Duncan in fourth, Schanen rallied for a sixth-place (26:06.26) finish, while Izewski, Garcia and Hines finished in eighth (26:10.48), tenth (26:11.82) and eleventh (26:13.71), respectively, in the 99-athlete men’s field.


Likewise on the women’s side, four Gators in their inaugural season – alongside Perkins as the returning leader – took to the course at the CLAW in Tampa for their first collegiate 5K races after kicking off the season with a two-mile run at the WCU Invite last week. Following Perkins’ third-place finish, freshmen Tenley Godfrey (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Grace VanDeGrift (Durant, Fla.) turned in 10th (18:19.11) and 11th-place (18:21.29) finishes, respectively. Rounding out UF’s female competitors, freshmen Macy Huskey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Olivia Walton (Altoona, Pa.) crossed 30th (19:22.81) and 55th (20:10.16) in the field of 142 female athletes in the competition.


The Gators will enter a two-week training period free of competition before hitting the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville for UF’s annual Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 24. The men’s 8K will go off at 8 a.m., while the women’s 5K race will start at 8:30 a.m. For all information on the 2011 Mountain Dew Invitational, including a schedule of events and entry information, visit the meet information page and check out the course maps and information on UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course in the Mountain Dew Invite informational box on the lower right-hand corner of For up-to-date news on the Gators, follow on Twitter @GatorZoneXCntry and @GZTrackField.


Men’s 8K Race Team Finishes

1. FLORIDA, 39

2. Miami, 62

3. Embry-Riddle, 85

4. Tampa, 128

5. Nova Southeastern, 133

6. South Florida, 136

7. FIU, 177

8. Florida Southern, 182

9. FAU, 197

10. Webber, 252

11. Saint Leo, 279


Florida Men’s Finishers

4. Phil Duncan, 26:02.74

6. Alex Schanen, 26:06.26

8. Alex Izewski, 26:10.48

10. Eduardo Garcia, 26:11.82

11. JL Hines, 26:13.71


Men’s 8K Winner

1. Evans Kirwa, Embry-Riddle, 25:04.45



Women’s 5K Team Finishes

1. South Florida, 42

2. FAU, 99

3. Tampa, 102

4. FLORIDA, 107

5. Embry-Riddle, 164

6. Nova Southeastern, 179

7. FIU, 182

8. Miami, 185

9. UCF, 198

10. Florida Southern, 218

11. Saint Leo, 251

12. Pasco-Hernando CC, 358

13. Webber, 363


Florida Women’s Finishers

3. Mandy Perkins, 17:58.97

10. Tenley Godfrey, 18:19.77

11. Grace VanDeGrift, 18:21.29

30. Macy Huskey, 19:22.81

55. Olivia Walton, 20:10.16


Women’s 5K Race Winner

1. Allie Prendergast, South Florida, 17:41.85



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