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Cross Country Headline

Photo by Cheryl Trewory, PrettySporty.com

Monday November 21, 2011Gator Cross Country Closes 2011 Campaign at NCAA Championships Monday

Terre Haute, Ind.

Photo by Cheryl Trewory, PrettySporty.com

On a cold and rainy day in Terre Haute, the Florida cross country teams closed the book on the 2011 season Monday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course as sophomore Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) and senior Genevieve LaCaze (Daisy Hill, Australia) were the first Gator athletes to cross the finish line for the Orange and Blue on the men’s and women’s sides, respectively. LaCaze, competing in her fourth-straight NCAA Championship race, fell just shy of top-40 All-American status with a 42nd-place finish – the best of her career – while Parrish, competing in his first-ever NCAA Championship crossed 68th overall in 30:32.1, marking a new career-best 10K mark.

 

Wisconsin and Georgetown won the men’s and women’s team titles, respectively, as Florida’s men competed at nationals as a team for the first time since 2006 after earning an automatic qualifying bid as the second-place team at the South Region Championships, checking in at 30th in the NCAA Championship field (780 points) Monday. With just one senior in Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.) on UF’s NCAA Championship squad, competition in Monday’s race was a valuable experience for a young Gator men’s team.

 

“We have a really young group of guys and they had a really good season,” Florida assistant track and field and cross country coach Todd Morgan said. “Obviously today was not the finish we wanted, but our men’s team had a strong year, made it here to the NCAA Championship and saw what they need to do to get better and to be here again in the future. We’re really proud of Mark, he had a great race in his first NCAA Championship meet and we’re really proud of what he did today.”

 

With three Gators competing in the women’s field, thanks to NCAA individual at-large bids, LaCaze turned in her best NCAA Championship finish, a 42nd-place, with a season-best 20:32.0 final time. The four-time All-SEC and All-South Region selection, LaCaze recorded Florida’s second-highest NCAA individual finish since 1997.

 

“Genevieve wanted to end her career on a good note in her last cross country meet as a Gator,” Morgan continued. “It was her highest finish at the NCAA meet and it was a tough pill to swallow for her being two spots out of (top 40) All-American honors in 42nd. We are really proud of what she did today – and as a senior, for everything she’s done for the cross country program and representing the Gators.”

 

Junior Florence N’Getich (Eldama Ravine, Kenya) crossed the finish line 117th (21:11.1) in the field of 254 women’s athletes in her first NCAA Championship race after picking up Second-Team All-SEC and All-South Region honors this season to help lead the Orange and Blue.

 

Freshman JL Hines (Orlando, Fla.) joined Parrish with a career-best 10K performance Monday, turning in a 32:21.3 to cross 236th overall as UF’s fourth scorer following Parrish, freshman Jimmy Clark (St. Johns, Fla.) and Izewski. Clark (191st) and Izewski (210th) crossed in 31:40.3 and 31:55.6, respectively. Sophomore Matt Mizereck (Tallahassee, Fla.) clocked a 32:29.5 as the Gators’ fifth and final team scorer in 241st.

 

Freshman Eduardo Garcia (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore Tyler Davidson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) rounded out UF’s seven-member NCAA Championship team as the duo finished 243rd and 251st in the field, respectively.

 

The Gator distance runners will now turn their focus and attention to the 2012 indoor track and field season, slated to kick off in January. For all the latest on Florida track and field and cross country, follow the Gators on Twitter @GZTrackField and @GatorZoneXCntry.

 

2011 NCAA Championship Regional Top 10 Men’s Team Finishes

1. Wisconsin, 97

2. Oklahoma State, 139

3. Colorado, 144

4. BYU, 203

5. Stanford, 207

6. Oklahoma, 213

7. Indiana, 257

8. Portland, 259

9. Iona, 265

10. North Carolina State, 282

30. FLORIDA, 780

 

Florida Men’s Finishers (10K)

68. Mark Parrish, 30:32.9*

191. Jimmy Clark, 31:40.3

210. Josh Izewski, 31:55.6

236. J.L. Hines, 32:21.3*

241. Matt Mizereck, 32:29.5

243. Eduardo Garcia, 32:32.2

251. Tyler Davidson, 33:02.1

* - denotes career best

 

Men’s Race Winner

1. Lawi Lalang, Arizona, 28:44.1

 

 

2011 NCAA Championship Top 10 Women’s Team Finishes

1. Georgetown, 162

2. Washington, 170

3. Villanova, 181

4. Florida State, 189

5. Oregon, 281

6. Vanderbilt, 282

7. Iowa State, 290

8. West Virginia, 297

9. New Mexico, 322

10. Stanford, 332

 

Florida Women’s Finishers (6K)

42. Genevieve LaCaze, 20:32.0

117. Florence N’Getich, 21:11.1

Cory McGee, DNF

 

Women’s Race Winner

1. Sheila Reid, Villanova, 19:41.2

 

 

 

 

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