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Cross Country Headline

Since 2011, the Gators have won every race at the Western Carolina Invitational.

Thursday August 28, 2014Florida Cross Country Set to Open 2014 Season on Friday at Western Carolina Invitational

Gainesville, Fla.

Since 2011, the Gators have won every race at the Western Carolina Invitational.

 

On Friday, the Florida cross country teams begin their 2014-15 season when they compete in the Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C., at 6:30 p.m. The women will compete in a two-mile race, while the men run a 5K.

 

SPANGLER SPEAKS

“The Western Carolina Invitational gives us a chance to head up to the mountains and get some training in for a few days, and have our athletes race an off-distance. Normally the women will race 5,000-meters, but at this meet the women will race 3,200-meters. On the men’s side, [they] usually run an 8K, but at this meet the men will run a 5K.” – assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler

 

BRING THE BROOMS

This is the fourth-straight year the Gators’ open the season at the Western Carolina Invite. Every year Florida has participated in the race, the men and women have won the team title.

 

LAST YEAR

In addition to winning the team title, Mark Parrish (14:50.06) and Agata Strausa (10:52.29) took home individual tiles.  

 

WINNING TRADITION

Since Florida began running at the Western Carolina Invitational in 2011, a Gator has taken home first place every year in the men’s and women’s race.

Men’s Winners (5k)

2013

Mark Parrish

14:50.06

2012

Josh Izewski

15:14.10

2011

Jimmy Clark

15:39.11

               

Women’s Winners (2 mile)

2013

Agata Strausa

10:52.29

2012

Julie Macedo

11:14.40

2011

Florence N’Getich

11:02.70

 

PERFECT SCORES

A year ago, the Gator women finished with a perfect 15-point team score, sweeping the top five spots in the field. At the Western Carolina Invite, the Gator women have had two perfect finishes (2011 & 2013) and the men have had one (2011).

 

GATORADE FRESHMEN

Freshmen Mac Macoy and Thomas Howell were both Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year in high school. Howell earned the honor for the state of Florida in 2012, while Macoy picked up the award in Alabama in 2013. Senior Jimmy Clark also was a Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year in Florida in 2010.

 

COMING HOME

Redshirt junior David Kilgore transferred to Florida from Colorado this year. Kilgore is no stranger to the Sunshine State, having grown up in Palm Bay, Fla., running for Holy Trinity in high school, where he won the 2010 1A state title.

 

SIMILAR SUCCESS?

Redshirt freshman Becky Greene makes her cross country debut on Friday. The New Zealand native was named the 2014 SEC Indoor Women’s Freshman of the Year. During the indoor season, Greene ran the fifth-fastest mile and 3,000-meter marks in Gator indoor history.

 

ENCORE PERFORMANCE

Sophomore Taylor Tubbs ran her first collegiate race last year at the Western Carolina Invite, finishing fourth in 10:59.09.

 

POLLS & RANKINGS

In the Preseason SEC Coaches Poll, the men were predicted to finish second in the SEC, while the women were picked fourth. In the USTFCCCA Regional Preseason Rankings, the Gator men ranked third and the women ranked eighth in the South Region.

 

For all of the latest information on Florida cross country:

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