Wednesday October 10, 2012Florida Cross Country Louisville-Bound for Pre-Nationals Oct. 13
Florida assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler met with the media Monday for a weekly media opportunity as the Gators prepare to head to Louisville, Ky., for the ultra-competitive 2012 Pre-Nationals meet.
After nearly two weeks free from competition, the Gator cross country squads, ranked third in the USTFCCCA South Region and knocking on the door with votes in the USTFCCCA Top-30 poll, will hit the road for the 2012 Pre Nationals Meet October 13 in Louisville – also the site of the 2012 NCAA Championships in November. The meet will serve as the first big test of the season for the Gators, as the field will feature a total of 15 top-30 teams. The event will take place at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park and will be hosted by University of Louisville.
The men will run an 8K event (9:30 a.m.), the women a 6K (10:15 a.m.), as over 50 different men’s and women’s teams will participate in the elite competition.
Last time out, Spangler took a contingent of Gators to the St. Leo Invitational September 29, where a pair of Florida runners in junior Shelby Hayes (Winter Park, Fla.) and Phil Duncan (Orlando, Fla.) each recorded their first collegiate victories donning the Orange and Blue with career-best times. Both the men’s and women’s teams recorded victories to remain undefeated on the season.
The Gators have not competed at the Pre-Nationals Meet in two years, having opted to compete at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational instead in 2011. In 2010, UF’s women placed 19th of 40 teams, while the men’s squad was ninth of 35 men’s teams in the Pre-Nationals field.
A precursor to the NCAA meet, Saturday will give the Orange and Blue an opportunity to visualize and preview the nationals course for later in November. For the first time since World War II, The NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held on a Saturday instead of a Monday - and for just the second time in a BIG EAST Conference city (Louisville). With the new date formula prescribing the national meet be held on Saturday before Thanksgiving, and by virtue of the calendar having the earliest possible Thanksgiving this year, the meet will be the earliest in Division I history.
Florida will take a men’s squad of seven runners, and a women’s team of eight runners to Louisville:
Jimmy Clark – sophomore
Phil Duncan – sophomore
Eddie Garcia – sophomore
JL Hines – sophomore
Josh Izewski – senior
Matt Mizereck – junior
Mark Parrish – junior
Callie Cooper – senior
Shelby Davidson – freshman
Shelby Hayes – junior
Julie Macedo – freshman
Florence Ngetich – senior
Mandy Perkins – senior
Stephanie Strasser – junior
Agata Strausa – junior
For a complete recap and results following Saturday’s races, stay posted to www.GatorZone.com/crosscountry and for all the latest on Florida cross country and track and field, follow the Gators on Twitter @GatorZoneXCntry and @GZTrackField.