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Cross Country Headline

Photo by: Cheryl Treworgy,

Monday November 12, 2012Florida XC Coach Paul Spangler Met With the Media Monday; Previewed 2012 NCAA Championship

Gainesville, Fla.

Photo by: Cheryl Treworgy,

2012 NCAA Championship Meet Central


Florida assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler met with the media Monday as a part of the Gators’ All-Sports Media Day, where he recapped UF’s competition at the 2012 NCAA South Region Championship and previewed Florida’s upcoming competition at Nationals.


After third and fourth-place finishes for the UF men’s and women’s cross country teams, respectively, at the 2012 NCAA South Region Championship in Tallahassee last Friday at Apalachee Regional Park, several Gator runners are nationals-bound. The 2012 SEC Champion women’s team picked up one of 13 NCAA at-large team bids announced Saturday, while UF’s top two scorers on the men’s side at regionals – junior Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore Jimmy Clark (St. Johns, Fla.) – picked up individual at-large bids for their USTFCCCA All-South Region performances.


Seven Florida runners were tabbed USTFCCCA All-South Region performers for their race results Friday, while the Gators collaboratively eclipsed nine personal-best marks, five on the women’s side and four on the men’s at regionals.


With individual NCAA bids for Clark and Parrish, the men’s program will have representation at NCAAs for the third straight season, last qualifying as a team in 2011 and sending an individual in 2010. Florida’s team bid on the women’s side sends the Gators to nationals for the sixth time in the last seven seasons as a team – last in 2010.


The University of Louisville will play host to the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The women’s race is slated for a 12 p.m. ET start, followed by the men’s race at 1:15 p.m. ET.


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. 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’s women placed the highest in history at NCAAs in 2009 (seventh), while the men were sixth in 1990 for the men’s program’s best NCAA finish. Last time out at NCAAs, Parrish ran the sixth-fastest NCAA time for a Gator at the 2011 national meet, finishing 68th in the field, while Clark scored second for the Orange and Blue in 191st. Of UF’s women’s squad, four Gators have nationals experience: junior Steph Strasser (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) and seniors Callie Cooper (St. Augustine, Fla.), Florence Ngetich (Eldama Ravine, Kenya) and Mandy Perkins (Ormond Beach, Fla.), with Ngetich participating as an individual in 2011.


For all the latest on Florida cross country and track and field, stay posted to follow the Gators on Facebookand on Twitter @GatorZoneXCntry and @GZTrackField as the Orange and Blue prepare for the 2012 NCAA Championship.


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