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Thursday October 13, 2011Gators Hit the Road for Tough Test at Wisconsin adidas Invitational

Madison, Wis.

Florida’s USTFCCCA Top 30 cross country teams will swing back into action Friday at the ultra competitive Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis. After a three-week training period free of competition, the Gators look forward to a tough regular-season competition with 39 collegiate men’s teams and 42 women’s squads slated to run in Friday’s race field, including numerous other national poll members. This year’s third annual adidas Invitational will offer an extremely competitive field, providing teams a gauge for where they stand prior to the championship portion of the 2011 fall campaign.

 

A total of 20 participating men’s teams and 19 women’s teams checked in on the latest USTFCCCA Top 30 collegiate poll, including the Gators – ranked No. 22 on the women’s side and No. 28 Florida – which will enable coaches like UF’s assistant track and cross country coach Todd Morgan to asses where their teams stand mid-way through the fall season. Right around the corner, and up next following the adidas Invitational, the 2011 SEC Championship race awaits the Orange and Blue Oct. 31 in Knoxville, Tenn.

 

“This meet in Wisconsin is as close to a NCAA Championship meet I’ve seen as a coach during the regular season,” Morgan said in his weekly press conference Monday. “What that means for us is a great chance for our men’s and women’s teams to compete in some head-to-head competitions and it’s a great chance for us to emulate what running in that big of a field can do. The quality of teams is very high and there are going to be a lot of bodies out there. It’s quite a difference to be so deep into a race and still have so many bodies around you. You could be in 60th or 70th or 80th place and still be carrying a big component of our team score. It’s good for them to be around and learn to not get rattled in pressure situations for down the road.”

 

The adidas Invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin Badgers, will kick off Friday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. The women’s collegiate 6K will kick off at 1 p.m., while the men’s 8K is slated for 1:40 p.m. The event will also feature ‘B’ races to accommodate all participating athletes, with those beginning at 2:20 and 3 p.m. for the women and men, respectively.

 

In the fall of 2009, the University of Wisconsin officially cut the ribbon on the brand new Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, a world-class course that offers a challenging and exciting terrain for runners and elevated viewing for spectators. The course features an exterior loop of approximately 2,500 meters and an interior loop of 1,000 meters. Both loops cover the area's rolling hills and valleys, while the outside loop also runs through a section of dense woods.

 

At last year’s adidas Invitational, both Gator teams finished an impressive seventh place, led on the women’s side by then-senior Charlotte Browning’s individual victory. Florida opened the season Sept. 2 with victories on both sides at the Western Carolina Invitational, followed by a first-place men’s team finish and fourth-place women’s finish at the USF Invite Sept. 9. Most recently, the Gators played host to their home event, the Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 24, where Florida’s women won the team title over North Carolina by sweeping first through third, while UF’s men placed second behind the team from Michigan.

 

Both Michigan and North Carolina will participate in the adidas Invitational, along with the No. 2 men’s team – host Wisconsin – and the No. 1 and No. 2 women’s teams, Villanova and Providence, respectively. Not only will the Gators rematch with the Wolverines and Tar Heels, but for the first time this season, UF will see conference foe Georgia on the men’s and women’s sides and the Vanderbilt Commodores in the women’s field.

 

A complete recap and results from the competition will be available on www.GatorZone.com/crosscountry following the race. Follow the Gators on Twitter @GZTrackField and @GatorZoneXCntry.

 

adidas Invitational Central: Click HERE

Thomas Zimmer Championship Course Maps: Click HERE

Results following meet: Click HERE or visit www.GatorZone.com

 

Participating Teams


College Men (39)

• Air Force

• Arizona

• #23 Arizona State

• #6 BYU

• Cal

• Clemson

• #28 Florida

• #16 Georgetown

• Georgia

• Harvard

• Illinois

• #7 Indiana

• Iowa State

• Kansas

• Lamar

• Marquette

• #26 Michigan

• Michigan State

• #17 Minnesota

• Nebraska

• #25 New Mexico

• #13 Northern Arizona

• #29 North Carolina

• #9 NC State

• Notre Dame

• Ohio State

• #10 Oregon

• #14 Princeton

• #24 Providence

• Purdue

• #4 Stanford

• #21 Syracuse

• Texas

• #27 Texas A&M

• #22 UCLA

• #19 Villanova

• Washington

• William & Mary

• #2 Wisconsin

 

College Women (42)

• Air Force

• #14 Arizona

• Arizona State

• Boston College

• #27 BYU

• #10 Cal

• #30 Clemson

• #22 Florida

• Georgia

• Harvard

• Illinois

• Indiana

• #23 Iowa

• #9 Iowa State

• James Madison

• Kansas

• #15 Michigan State

• #21 Minnesota

• Nebraska

• #7 New Mexico

• Northern Arizona

• #13 North Carolina

• NC State

• Northwestern

• #25 Notre Dame

• Ohio State

• #12 Oregon

• #28 Princeton

• #2 Providence

• Purdue

• San Francisco

• #6 Stanford

• Stony Brook

• #8 Syracuse

• Texas A&M

• Toledo

• UCLA

• Vanderbilt

• #1 Villanova

• #24 Washington

• William & Mary

• Wisconsin


 

 

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