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UF women's XC runners Cory McGee and Agata Strausa earned at-large bids to NCAAs Saturday.

Saturday November 16, 2013UF's Cory McGee & Agata Strausa Pick Up At-Large Bids for 2013 Cross Country Nationals

UF women's XC runners Cory McGee and Agata Strausa earned at-large bids to NCAAs Saturday.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After Florida’s stellar performances at the 2013 South Region Cross Country Championships Friday in Tuscaloosa, where the Gator men’s squad picked up an automatic bid for Nationals Nov. 23, two UF women’s runners, redshirt junior Cory McGee and senior Agata Strausa, picked up individual at-large bids to compete at the 2013 NCAA Championships, announced Saturday by the NCAA.

 

Both McGee and Strausa finished in the top 10 at the South Region Championships, McGee with a second-place finish and Strausa with a ninth-place performance. Both Gators picked up USTFCCCA All-South Region honors, McGee using the second-fastest 6K mark in school history and a new career-best in the process.

 

A total of 31 teams were selected to participate in each championship – the top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large. Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process, completed Saturday.

 

McGee and Strausa give the women’s team representation at nationals for the eighth consecutive season, six of those with team bids, while UF had individual representatives in 2011 and now in 2013.

 

On Friday, Florida senior men’s runner Mark Parrish shattered his personal best 10K mark (29.44.24) en route to being UF’s second-ever NCAA South Region Cross Country Champion – the first since 2004 – as the Gator men’s team secured a ticket to nationals for the second time in three years behind the one-two punch of Parrish, junior Jimmy Clark and a second-place team finish (73) at the 2013 NCAA South Regionals Friday.

 

READ ABOUT UF’S PERFORMANCES NOV. 15 AT THE SOUTH REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

NOTABLES ABOUT UF’S XC NATIONALS QUALIFIERS

·         Cory McGee, running just her third XC meet since 2011 at Regionals Friday, shattered her previous best PR (20:35.7) set at 2010 regionals, clocking a 20:00.19 and finishing second – the highest finish for a Gator women’s runner at regionals since 2009 when Rebecca Lowe won the event

·         McGee’s 20:00.19 was the second-fastest 6K ever run by a Gator and the fastest ever run at the NCAA South Region Championships

·         Senior Agata Strausa earned her first All-South Region accolade after finishing 35th overall at last year’s regional championship, and McGee was an All-South Region selection for the third time (2010, 2011, 2013)

·         McGee will be competing at her third NCAA Championships after running in both 2010 and 2011 for Florida, while Strausa will make her second straight appearance at nationals after competing for the Orange and Blue in 2012, when UF finished 23rd overall

·         The Gators will have representation at NCAAs on the women’s side for the eighth straight year after, six of those with team bids, while the Gators had individual representatives in 2011 and now in 2013

·         Senior Mark Parrish became UF’s second-ever NCAA South Region Champion Friday, as Steve Zieminski picked up the men’s regional victory in 2004 (29:35.86) for the Gators. Parrish’s mark shattered his previous PR, set at 2011 nationals (30:32.90)

·         UF’s men advance to nationals as a team for the second time in the last three seasons (2011, 2013), but will have representation at the NCAA Championship for the fourth consecutive season, as UF had individual at-large competitors in both 2010 and 2012 (Parrish/Clark)

·         UF’s men clocked a top-five regionals finish for the 17th consecutive year and were top three for the fourth straight season

·         On the women’s side, the Gators were top-five at the South Region Championships for the eighth straight year

·         Four of UF’s seven men’s competitors ran personal-best marks, including Mark Parrish, Jimmy Clark, Eddie Garcia and JL Hines. Freshman Carlos Miranda and redshirt freshman Mac Reynolds each ran the first 10K races of their careers donning the Orange and Blue

·         Parrish and Clark earned USTFCCCA All-South Region honors for the third-straight season, while Garcia earned his second All-Region nod (2012, 2013)

 

UP NEXT
The Orange and Blue will now set its sights on the 2013 NCAA Championships, slated for Sat., Nov. 23, in Terre Haute, Ind., at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. For everything leading up to nationals, stay posted to www.GatorZone.com/crosscountry.

 

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