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Friday August 30, 2013Florida Cross Country Sweeps Western Carolina Invitational to Open 2013 Campaign

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Seniors Mark Parrish and Agata Strausa claimed individual race victories to help lead the Florida men’s and women’s cross country squads to season-opening team victories at the Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C., Friday evening.


In their season debut, the Gator women turned in a perfect 15-point score, sweeping the top five spots in the women’s two-mile field. Strausa led the way, followed by senior Shelby Hayes, sophomore Julie Macedo, freshman Taylor Tubbs and senior Stephanie Strasser in second through fifth, respectively. Florida’s men’s squad notched a 28-point finish for the invitational title, using Parrish’s 5K win and three other top-six finishers to help lead the Orange and Blue to the team title. Behind Parrish, juniors Jimmy Clark, Eddie Garcia and JL Hines crossed the finish line in third, fourth and sixth, respectively.


On the women’s side, Furman (53) and High Point (81) claimed second and third behind Florida and High Point (43) and Furman (54) additionally rounded out the second and third-place finishers in men’s action.



·         For Parrish, the WCU men’s 5K invitational title marked the ninth first-place finish of his career as a Gator

·         Strausa turned in her second race title donning the Orange and Blue, last winning the 2012 Mountain Dew Invite in her Gator debut last season

·         On the men’s side, Clark, Garcia, Hines and Harsha Torke significantly improved their 5K marks from last year’s WCU Invite, setting new collegiate best times in the race

·         Hays, Macedo and Strasser from UF’s women’s squad each topped their WCU Invite two-mile marks from last season as well


THE WCU INVITATIONAL: For the past three seasons, the Gator men’s and women’s cross country teams have opened the season in Cullowhee at WCU’s Invite. All three years, both the men’s and women’s squads have walked away with team victories.


Florida assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler

On the women's team finish:

"I thought the women came out and did a great job tonight, especially working together as a team throughout the duration of the race. Agata, Shelby, Julie, Taylor and Steph all finished as a pack claiming the top five spots."


On individual performances to highlight:

"Mark Parrish looked very impressive tonight and I was also impressed with Eddie Garcia. We had a very solid effort on the men's side, placing our first four scorers in the top six in the field."


On training leading up to UF’s Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 14:

"Our next competition is our home meet, the Mountain Dew Invitational September 14. This race was a great gauge for where we are at to begin the season and now we have two weeks before our next race to train. We're looking forward to being on our home course in front of all our Gator fans for the first of two home races this season, the second being SECs in November."


On what the team takes away from the Western Carolina Invitational:

“Both teams came out tonight and really did a good job. With the Western Carolina being our first meet of the season, we’ll need to continue to build on this and keep working hard. We have a lot of important racing on the horizon and we’ll continue to improve as the season progresses.”


Three UF freshman suited up in the Orange and Blue for the first time: Taylor Tubbs, Sarah Day and Carlos Miranda…Two redshirt freshmen in Mac Reynolds and Elliot Clemente competed in their first official meet as Gators after redshirting the 2012 season…Florida has opened up the past three seasons with team victories on each side at the Western Carolina Invitational


Florida will be back in action for the 25th Annual Mountain Dew Invitational September 14 at UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course. The men’s collegiate 8K will kick things off at 7:55 a.m., while the women’s collegiate 6K will start at 8:30 a.m., with varsity and junior varsity boys and girls races to follow. For more info, visit the Mountain Dew Invitational information box on the bottom right-hand side of the page at



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Gator Women (Complete Results)

1.     Agata Strausa, 10:52.29

2.     Shelby Hayes, 10:56.82

3.     Julie Macedo, 10:57.89

4.     Taylor Tubbs, 10:59.09

5.     Steph Strasser, 11:11.28

13.  Shelby Davidson, 11:44.27

14.  Sarah Day, 11:45.20


Gator Men (Complete Results)

1.     Mark Parrish, 14:50.06

3.     Jimmy Clark, 15:04.22

4.    Eddie Garcia, 15:14.67

6.    JL Hines, 15:23.11

14.  Carlos Miranda, 15:32.14

16.  Mac Reynolds, 15:39.34

24.  Elliot Clemente, 16:02.67

40.  Harsha Torke, 16:28.20



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