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Friday November 4, 2011Florida XC Freshman Jimmy Clark Named SEC Freshman of the Year; Nine Gators Earn 10 All-SEC Honors

Birmingham, Ala.

Freshman runner Jimmy Clark (St. Johns, Fla.) became UF’s second all-time SEC Male Freshman of the Year Friday by vote of the league’s cross country coaches after crossing the finish line at the SEC Championships as the highest-placing freshman in the field. Clark tallied a personal-best 24:30.79 in the 8K to take seventh overall as UF’s third top-10 finisher at the conference meet in Tennessee Monday.


“Jimmy has come in and adjusted great,” assistant track and field and cross country coach Todd Morgan said. “It’s a big change from high school to college running, but because of his hard work and focus, he’s been able to maximize on his talents.”


For his efforts, Clark picked up two All-SEC honors as a Men’s First-Team All-SEC selection, while also gracing the SEC All-Freshman squad. Clark was UF’s first male top-10 finisher at SECs since 2004 when Henok Lechebo finished eighth. The Creekside High School product now has three top-10 overall finishes for the Gators this season and has been one of UF’s top three scorers at every meet he’s participated in this fall. He won the Western Carolina Invitational Sept. 2, becoming UF’s first male runner since 2003 to win his opening race donning Orange and Blue, earning SEC Men’s Freshman of the Week for his performance.


Eight other Gators joined Clark as All-SEC honorees, including UF’s top three women’s finishers, senior Genevieve LaCaze (Daisy Hill, Australia), sophomore Cory McGee (Pass Christian, Miss.) and junior Florence N’Getich (Eldama Ravine, Kenya). LaCaze and McGee were All-SEC first team selections, finishing in the top seven, while N’Getich was named to the All-SEC second team with a 10th-place mark. Freshman Grace VanDeGrift (Durant, Fla.) picked up SEC All-Freshman honors on the women’s side as one of the top seven women to cross the finish line in Maryville.


Four of Clark’s men’s squad counterparts earned All-SEC accolades, with sophomores Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) and Matt Mizereck (Tallahassee, Fla.) joining him on the First-Team All-SEC after finishing third and fourth overall, respectively, and freshmen Eduardo Garcia (Jacksonville, Fla.) and JL Hines (Orlando, Fla.) as SEC All-Freshman Team members by finishing as three of the top seven freshman runners at SECs.


Of UF’s nine All-SEC selections, seven: N’Getich and VanDeGrift on the women’s side, and Parrish, Mizereck, Clark, Garcia and Hines on the men’s, side all ran personal best times in their SEC races – a 6K for the women and 8K for the men.


Clark and the men’s squad raced their way to a second-place overall team finish, the highest since the Gators’ men also placed second in 2007. For UF, it was the 15th-straight top-five finish on the men’s side, while the two-time defending women checked in third overall for their fourth-straight top-three finish and eighth-consecutive top-five finish.


For LaCaze, the All-SEC honor marked the fourth of her career, as the senior has placed in the top eight at the conference meet all four years donning a Gator uniform. McGee and Mizereck picked up their second All-SEC accolades after being All-Freshman Team members in 2010. Clark, Garcia, Hines, N’Getich, Parrish and VanDeGrift were first-time recipients after competing in their inaugural conference championship race this season.


Parrish and LaCaze both finished third at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Tennessee to clock UF’s fastest races on both the men’s and women’s side, Parrish becoming UF’s youngest men’s runner to finish in the top three at SECs dating back to 1998. He was also the highest SEC individual finisher since 2007 when Jeremy Criscione took second. Parrish now has two top-10 overall finishes in 2011, one SEC Runner of the Week accolade, and has been UF’s first or second scorer in all three meets he’s participated in.


LaCaze recorded her fourth top-10 SEC individual finish at the 2011 conference championship, finishing third overall for the best finish of her four-year career at UF (placed sixth in '08, seventh in '09 and eighth in '10). Like Parrish, she has finished as Florida’s first or second scorer in all four Florida meets she’s competed in this fall, including three top-three overall finishes at the Western Carolina Invite, the Mountain Dew Invitational and SECs. LaCaze won UF’s home meet, the Mountain Dew Invite, with a career-best 5K mark (17:05.09) to pick up SEC Women’s Runner of the Week honors.


The Gators will next set their sights on the 2011 NCAA South Regional, this year in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the Harry Pritchett Running Park. Both squads will be aiming for a top-two finish to secure an automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. At-large individual and team bids, along with the complete selection list for the 2011 NCAA Championship field will be released on Nov. 13 following all Regional action around the country Nov. 12.



Male Honors

SEC Coach of the Year

John Webb, 1992


SEC Freshman of the Year

Daniel Parker, 2002

Jimmy Clark, 2011


Female Honors

SEC Coach of the Year

Lyle Knudson, 1984

J.J. Clark, 1996

J.J. Clark, 1997

Todd Morgan, 2009

Todd Morgan, 2010


SEC Athlete of the Year

Becki Wells, 1996

Rebecca Lowe, 2009


SEC Freshman of the Year

Hilary White, 2000

Genevieve LaCaze, 2008



2011 SEC Women’s Coach of the Year

Steve Keith, Vanderbilt


2011 SEC Women’s Runner of the Year

Kristen Gillespie, Arkansas


2011 SEC Women’s Freshman of the Year

Kaitlin Flattman, Arkansas


Women's First-Team All-SEC

Kristen Gillespie, Arkansas

Alexa Rogers, Vanderbilt

Genevieve LaCaze, Florida

Liz Anderson, Vanderbilt

Cory McGee, Florida

Kristie Krueger, Georgia

Jordan White, Vanderbilt


Women's Second-Team All-SEC

Louise Hannallah, Vanderbilt

Kristen Smith, Vanderbilt

Florence N'Getich, Florida

Logan Waites, Ole Miss

Brittany Sheffey, Tennessee

Kaitlin Flattman, Arkansas

Jessica Jackson, Arkansas


Women's All-SEC Freshman Team

Kaitlin Flattmann, Arkansas

Jessica Jackson, Arkansas

Grace Orders, Vanderbilt

Amira Joseph, Vanderbilt

Anna Bowles, Georgia

Rebecca Chandler, Vanderbilt

Grace VanDeGrift, Florida



2011 SEC Men’s Coach of the Year

Chris Bucknam, Arkansas


SEC Men’s Runner of the Year

Eric Fernandez, Arkansas


SEC Men’s Freshman of the Year

Jimmy Clark, Florida


Men's First-Team All-SEC

Eric Fernandez, Arkansas

Duncan Phillips, Arkansas

Mark Parrish, Florida

Matt Mizereck, Florida

Luis Orta, Kentucky

Rick Elliott, Arkansas

Jimmy Clark, Florida


Men's Second-Team All-SEC

Matt Cleaver, Georgia

Martin Kirui, Ole Miss

Brandon Lord, Georgia

Dey Tuach, Arkansas

Carrison Kemei, Alabama

Patrick Rono, Arkansas

Kane Grimster, Auburn


Men's All-SEC Freshman Team

Jimmy Clark, Florida

Patrick Rono, Arkansas

Kane Grimster, Auburn

Austin Whitelaw, Tennessee

Eduardo Garcia, Florida

Brendan Hoban, Georgia

John-Logan Hines, Florida



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