Parker Valby Wins NCAA South Regional, Women’s XC Team Places Second

On Friday, Parker Valby kept her winning streak alive by taking home first place in the NCAA South Regional. This victory is her third straight as she recently won both the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational and the SEC Championship races. Valby’s victory propelled the Gators to a second-place finish and punched the team’s ticket to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Charlottesville, Va.

Other top finishers for the Gators were Flomena Asekol who came in 8th and Allison Wilson who placed 14th. As a team, the Gators placed second behind Tennessee. They were followed by Ole Miss at third, Alabama at fourth and Lipscomb at fifth.

Regular Season Success

The sixth-ranked Gators have had a pretty successful to date. Florida kicked things off by winning the Mountain Dew Invitational on their home turf. Allison Wilson placed first in the race. They followed this success with a second-place finish at the FSU XC Invitational. The top finisher for the Gators was Lucinda Rourke who placed fourth. Keeping the regular season success going, the team came in fifth at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational.

Post Season So Far

The wins just keep coming for the women’s team as they continue into the postseason. Valby shined in the SEC Championships as she placed 1st by an incredible 33.8-second margin. Not to be outdone, Flomena Asekol placed fourth and ran one of the best racers of her collegiate career. The Gators placed first with 49 points, overtaking Arkansas which had 59 and Tennessee with 80.

Then of course, Valby’s star power surged once more in the NCAA South Regional.

Men’s Team Miscues

Unfortunately, the men’s team has not seen the same success as the women’s. They faired well in the regular season, placing 3rd in the Mountain Dew Invitational and 1st in the FSU XC Invitational, but have not been able to keep up this momentum.

In the SEC Championships, the team placed 7th with top finisher Ethan Geiger coming in 26th. They continued to decline in the NCAA South Regional placing 10th with Geiger, once again the top finisher, placing 29th. The team will not compete in the NCAA Championships this year. Although this is not exactly the result they were hoping for, it’s a drastic improvement from last year’s 19th-place finish.

 

About Shelby Hickman

Shelby Hickman is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism with a specialization in sports and media.

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