Friday September 28, 2012Florida Cross Country Hits the Road for Saint Leo Invitational Saturday
The University of Florida men’s and women’s cross country squads will hit the road for their third competition of the 2012 fall slate Saturday, as several representatives from both Gator teams will participate in the Saint Leo Invitational for the first time in UF history.
The Orange and Blue will head to the Tampa area for the men’s 8K and women’s 6K races at the Abbey Golf Course across the street from the Saint Leo University at 7:45 and 8:30 a.m., respectively. For the Florida women, Saturday’s race will mark the first 6K event of the fall season thus far. The UF men will run their second consecutive 8K competition with the first coming at the Gators’ home meet two weeks ago.
Florida, ranked No. 3 in the USTFCCCA South Region Rankings on both the men’s and women’s sides, is coming off a week free of competition after playing host to the 24th Annual Mountain Dew Invitational at UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course Sept. 15. The UF women, ranked No. 28 in the USTFCCCA Top-25 Poll, and the men, who are receiving votes in the top-25 collegiate poll, took advantage of the home course for their second team victories of the season.
Florida’s women turned in a perfect 15-point team score at the Mountain Dew Invitational, claiming the top five finishes in the collegiate women’s/open race, while the Gator men’s team packed five scorers into the top 10 for the men’s overall title (28 points) at UF’s lone home met of the fall. For the women, the team win marked Florida’s eighth straight, while the men took the overall team title a seventh time in the last eight seasons.
For each week of competition thus far, the Gators have racked up at least one Southeastern Conference honor, as freshman Julie Macedo (Wilmington, Del.) earned SEC Women’s Runner of the Week after UF’s season-opening Western Carolina Invitational, while reeling in SEC Freshman Women’s Runner of the Week accolades following UF’s Mountain Dew Invitational.
Florida veterans Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.) and Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) hold two of the top-five 8K marks in the SEC so far this season, while sophomores Jimmy Clark (St. Johns, Fla.) and John-Logan Hines (Orlando, Fla.) each rank in the top 10. On the women’s side, junior Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia) ranks fourth in the conference in the 5K distance, while the Gators’ 6K marks in women’s action are yet to be determined following Saturday’s competition.
For complete results and a recap from the Saint Leo Invitational, stay posted to www.GatorZone.com/crosscountry .
Following competition at the St. Leo Invitational, the Gators will then prepare for the first big test of the season Oct. 13 at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky. For all the latest on Florida Cross Country, follow the Gators on Twitter @GatorZoneXCntry and @GZTrackField or visit the team’s official track and field and cross country Facebook page.