Thursday September 13, 2012Florida Cross Country Plays Host to 2012 Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 15
After season-opening team victories at the Western Carolina Invitational August 31, the University of Florida men’s and women’s cross country teams return home to the friendly confines of UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course Saturday morning, Sept. 15, for the 24th Annual Mountain Dew Invitational.
The Gators will host athletes from over 20 local and regional colleges, universities and track clubs for the collegiate/open races, while over 50 Florida high schools will compete in the varsity and junior varsity races Saturday morning on the University of Florida campus.
This year’s Mountain Dew Invite kicks off with the collegiate/open men’s 8K at 7:55 a.m., while the women’s collegiate/open 5K will go off at 8:30 a.m. The varsity high school boys and girls 5K races begin at 9:05 and 9:35 a.m., respectively, while the junior varsity 5K events are at 10:05 (boys) and 10:35 (girls) Saturday morning. This year, the Gators will unveil a facelift to the 2012 Mountain Dew Invite course, with dual start lines for the high school races and a new finish line for all athletes.
MOUNTAIN DEW INVITATIONAL CENTRAL
Twitter: @GatorZoneXCntry / @GZTrackField
MOUNTAIN DEW INVITATIONAL PROMOTIONS
² Rowdy Reptiles check-in WORTH 10 POINTS. Check in between 8 and 9 a.m. at the marketing table outside the golf clubhouse by the golf leaderboard
² ALBERT & ALBERTA – Will be at the Mountain Dew Invitational from 8-9:30 a.m.
² Kids Club Table
Both Florida programs will look to continue their dominance at the annual home meet, as the Gator women have taken the last seven consecutive team titles, while the men claimed six from 2005-10 straight until Michigan’s overall victory at last year’s Mountain Dew Invite. Then-senior Genevieve LaCaze (Daisy Hill, Australia), who will be on hand supporting the Gators at the course this Saturday, turned in the top overall individual finish for the Orange and Blue (17:05.09) on the women’s side, while current junior Matt Mizereck (Tallahassee, Fla.) was Florida’s top men’s individual finisher a year ago in second place (24:38.50).
Under first-year distance track and cross country coach Paul Spangler, UF’s cross country squads debuted 2012 with impressive team victories in Cullowhee, N.C., at the WCU Invitational, as the women posted a low 17 points for the win, while the men accumulated 19 points in their winning efforts. Freshman Julie Macedo (Wilmington, Del.), the Sept. 4 SEC Women’s Runner of the Week, and redshirt senior Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.) led the Orange and Blue in the women’s two-mile and men’s 5K races, respectively.
Macedo became the first UF women’s freshman runner to win her inaugural race as a Gator since Florida distance All-American and 2012 Australian Olympian Genevieve LaCaze did so in 2008. On the men’s side, Izewski turned in a stellar performance himself, posting just his second collegiate victory since winning UF’s 2010 Mountain Dew Invitational. Izewski clocked a career-best time in the race, shaving nearly 29 seconds off his previous best 5K, established last season in Cullowhee.
On both the men’s and women’s sides, the Gators’ 1-3 scorers turned in tight pack spreads, with the women at one second, the men just under five seconds for the top three finishers. A total of 10 Gators turned in top-10 individual finishes as the UF women took the top four spots, the men the top three in Cullowhee.
Following UF’s lone home event, the Gators will enter a three week training phase before competition in the Seminole Invitational Oct. 5 in Tallahassee, Fla.