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Monday April 30, 2012Gator Quintet's Hard Work Pays Off at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational

Stanford, Calif.

The No. 4 University of Florida women’s track & field team sent a small contingent on Sunday to Stanford University’s Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, where four athletes ran lifetime bests in their respective events.


Sophomore distance runner Cory McGee (Pass Christian, Miss.) ran an “A” standard in section 2 of the women’s 1500 meters, finishing third with a lifetime best of 4:12.61 and automatically qualifying her to compete in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.


“Cory ran a tactically perfect race,” Florida assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler said. “She had the best 1500-meter performance of her career and set herself up well for a promising rest of the season.”


The Gator trio of Shelby Hayes (Winter Park, Fla.), Mandy Perkins (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia) competed in section 3 of the women’s 1500 meters, as Strausa finished third with a personal best of 4:15.92 and Hayes also ran a lifetime best of 4:19.72 to finish 10th. Perkins finished 12th in 4:25.58, as all the Gators wrapped up competition before the conference meet.


“These four ladies all ran great tactical races,” Spangler said. “Agata had a lifetime best and she can certainly do even better as the season progresses. Shelby’s transformation in the last year is remarkable. She’s had a great season thus far and we look forward to seeing even more from her as we get into the conference meet. Mandy had a great meet at Tom Jones and has showed in her last two performances that she’s ready to contribute heading into SECs.”


Senior Genevieve LaCaze (Queensland, Australia) ran a personal best in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase, turning in an eighth-place finish with a time of 9:55.44. LaCaze now leads the SEC in the event, running the only sub-10 minute women’s steeplechase in the SEC this season, and is sixth in the NCAA heading into the conference meet.


“I’m proud of Genevieve for her performance today and running a lifetime best,” Spangler commented. “The best part is knowing that she has more to give and we know she can run better than she did. We have two weeks of training before the conference meet and I think we’re all prepared to go and compete for a conference championship.”


The Gator men and women are off this upcoming weekend before traveling to Baton Rouge for the 2012 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by LSU. The four-day meet takes place Thursday-Sunday, May 10-13, at Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Championship Central can be found here.


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Women’s 1500 Meters – Section 2               

3.     Cory McGee, 4:12.61 (PR)


Women’s 1500 Meters – Section 3               

3.     Agata Strausa, 4:15.92 (PR)

10.  Shelby Hayes, 4:19.72 (PR)

12.  Mandy Perkins, 4:25.58


Women’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase – Section 1      

8.     Genevieve LaCaze, 9:55.44 (PR)

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