Members of the Florida Gators men’s and women’s Cross Country teams won the SEC Freshman of the Week titles for the second consecutive week as Phil Duncan and Tenley Godfrey were given the honor Tuesday for their excellent performance in the South Florida Invitational last Friday.
Duncan finished first for the Gators, and fourth overall in the meet, while Godfrey finished 10th overall.
When Godfrey first heard she was named SEC Freshman of the Week, she was a little confused.
“At first I honestly didn’t register that it was SEC,” she said. “I thought because my teammate, Grace, had the award last week, I thought it was just a Florida thing, then a second later it clicked with me that it was the SEC, so I thought that was pretty amazing since my teammate had it last week. It just shows how strong our team is and how much depth we have. So that was exciting.”
Duncan agreed that the honors are evidence of the hard work both teams put in.
“We just do what coach tells us, and run hard and try to do the right things,” he said. “Away from practice, the little things, taking care of our bodies, help us be successful.”
Duncan is originally from Florida and attended Boone High School in Orlando. However, Godfrey came from Tennessee. When she visited the University of Florida, she said it really stood out to her.
“When I came on my visit, I just felt like I clicked right away and I knew I wanted to be with this group of girls and I liked Coach Morgan a lot,” Godfrey said. “And honestly, as far as enjoying running goes, I enjoy the practices every day, so I think one of the keys to fast running is staying in the moment, and you have to like what you’re doing while you’re doing it, so you can’t always think too far ahead to the races and such. So, I enjoy each day.”
Godfrey said although she loves cross country, it’s tough to balance school work, practices, and meets.
“I think my least favorite is learning to manage school right now with the running,” she said. “It’s definitely a step up from time management skills in high school and it’s hard sometimes getting enough sleep, to be honest right now.”
Both Duncan and Godfrey say their personal goals for this season are to perform well for their respective teams.
“I just want to contribute to the team as much as I can,” Duncan said. “We want to be competitive at SECs for the win, and also make it to the NCAA meet, and do well there as well.”
“Mainly I just hope to contribute to the team and score points in as many meets as I can for the team,” Godfrey said. “I would love to run under 18 minutes for the 5k, although we don’t really run too many 5k’s this season. I just hope to keep getting faster with my times and hopefully score for the team if I can.”
The Gators next meet is their first and only home meet of the season. The Mountain Dew Invitational is set for Sept. 24. Godfrey said she’s excited about her first home meet, but she’s trying to stay level-headed and focused.
“I’ve been really living in the moment in going day by day, in practice and in school,” she said. “I think that’s the key to fast running, is staying calm and kind of having neutral emotion from day to day, and just consistently training and doing what’s expected of you, and not getting too emotionally high or emotionally low. I just hope I can maintain that for the next two weeks and stay as rested as possible and keep working hard.”
The Cross Country teams will run on UF’s Mark Bostick golf course next Saturday.
“I won’t have to travel far,” Godfrey said. “So I can save some energy there.”
Gator Country reporter Darby Underwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at darbyunderwood.