Cross Country Headline
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida cross country will be the second Gator athletics team to kick off the 2013-14 season when it takes to the course at the Western Carolina Invitational Friday in Cullowhee, N.C., for the season debut. The Gator women will compete in a 2-mile race at 6:30 p.m., while the men will run a 5K, slated for a 6:50 p.m. start from the Western Carolina Track & Field Complex.
The Orange and Blue debut the fall cross country season at the Western Carolina Invite for the third straight year and both Gator squads have come out on top each of the last two seasons. In 2012, then-freshman Julie Macedo (Wilmington, Del.) won the women’s race, while 2012-13 Gator senior Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.) claimed the men’s invitational title. Macedo picked up SEC Women’s Runner of the Week honors for her performance after becoming the first Gator in four years to win her collegiate debut donning the Orange & Blue.
This year’s Gator squads feature a varying mix of veteran leadership and newcomer talent, and the Western Carolina Invitational is sure to show exactly where the Gators stand at this point in the season. UF will then have a two week training period before hosting the 25th Annual Mountain Dew Invitational.
Florida’s 2013 men’s and women’s cross country squads were both predicted to finish second at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships, as decided by vote of the league’s head coaches and released the second week in August in the annual SEC Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll. Florida will play host to the SEC Cross Country Championships, slated this year for Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course. UF has previously hosted the event four times (’73, ’81, ’90, ’02).
In the annual USTFCCCA Preseason Regional Polls, released Monday by the organization, UF’s men checked in at No. 1 in the South Region, while the women were a preseason No. 4 in the region. The Florida men’s cross country team is ranked No. 23 in the USTFCCCA Preseason Top 30, while the women’s squad, the defending SEC Champions, is receiving votes in the initial poll of the 2013 season.
Visit www.GatorZone.com for a recap and results following Friday’s races and follow the Gators on Twitter @GatorZoneXCntry & @GZTrackField.