Gator Cross Country Competes at NCAA Regionals

Both the men’s and women’s Florida Gator cross country teams will participate in the NCAA Regional Championships on Friday.  The Gator teams will try to take one of the two team spots to qualify them for the NCAA Championship. The top four individual runners that are not on a qualifying team will also advance to the finals.

Most recently competing in the SEC Championship, the women are coming off a seventh place overall finish.  There were many notable performances in that championship with Taylor Tubbs placing 24th overall and season best performances from Devin McDermott, Amber Johnson, and Gabrielle Yatauro.

“For the women at the SEC’s I thought Taylor Tubbs did a good job leading the women, Becky Greene right behind her… Devin McDermott best race this season. Really did a fine job stepping up at the SEC’s,” said assistant coach Paul Spangler.

In addition to placing seventh at the SEC Championship the women have had two first place finishes, one eighth place finish, and one 38th place finish.

“We saw.. I felt like a big improvement on the women compared to what we did at Wisconsin at the SEC’s,” said Spangler.

In the SEC Championships the men earned a 10th place finish and Thomas Howell was awarded Freshman All-SEC status after finishing 47th.

“Thomas Howell is first team All-SEC as a freshman. He was really excited for that… that was a goal of his coming in,” said Spangler. “So coming off the first race or second race of the season where he was the SEC Runner of the Week as a freshman… I’m  very proud of the job he’s done and it was nice to see him step up at the SEC’s and earn that award. And I think that certainly that will be something that he can build upon.”

The men’s finishes this season include one first place finish, two second place finishes, and one 36th place finish, as well as the 10th place finish at the SEC’s.

“We’ve got to do a better job than what we did at the SEC Championships with the men. So going into the regionals this is an opportunity for them to have a good performance…get in there to compete for one of the two spots for the national championships,” said Spangler.

The NCAA Regional will be held in Tallahassee. Women’s races will begin at 9:00 and men’s will begin at 10:00.

For audio from assistant coach Paul Spangler click here:

Spangler on standout women performances in the SEC’s.

Spangler on women’s improvement.

Spangler on Thomas Howell.

Spangler on men’s performance at SEC’s.



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