The No. 15 Florida women’s cross country team finished third at the prestigious Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., ahead of seven other nationally-ranked teams with 104 points. The men finished in 17th place with a total of 386 points.
The only two teams to finish ahead of the Lady Gators were No. 1 Washington in first with 33 points and No. 6 Princeton in second with 68 points.
“This was a great start to the competitive racing season for the women,” Cross country coach Todd Morgan said. “We came here to compete and we were ready to go. The girls put out a great effort and they were rewarded.”
Junior Stacey Johnson of England finished in sixth place in her Florida cross country debut, running the 5K distance in 16:41, the fourth best time in school history. Fellow junior and countrywoman Charlotte Browning was three spots back and broke the 17-minute barrier for the first time with a 16:59 clocking, now the eighth best in school history.
“It was a great debut for Stacey Johnson,” Morgan said. “She couldn’t wait to run and she was ready to go. Charlotte Browning had a phenomenal run as well. Her effort has been outstanding.”
Redshirt sophomore Rebecca Lowe of Australia, running for the first time since 2007, was 22nd in a time of 17:11. Another Aussie, sophomore Genevieve LaCaze, was 26th in 17:18. Senior Julie Northrup of Vero Beach completed the scoring for Florida, finishing in 17:27 (a personal best by almost 20 seconds) for 41st place.
“It was great to have Rebecca back,” Morgan said. “Genevieve put in another great run as she is a very consistent competitor for us, and Julie Northrup had a breakthrough performance in a highly-competitive field. I know there are great things to come from our women’s team.”
On the men’s side, No. 22 Washington also took first place with 113 points, followed by No. 15 Providence (119 points) and No. 24 New Mexico (151 points).
Junior Anthony Morales of Palm Coast led Florida, finishing 38th in 24:30 in the men’s five-mile race. Senior Justin Taylor of St. Augustine was 77th in 25:03 while classmate Aaron Kindt Orlando came in 87th (25:09). Freshman Derek Wehunt of Odessa followed right behind in 89th (25:12) in his first competitive collegiate race and junior James Uthmeier of Destin finished the scoring with a 95th-place finish (25:16).
“We need to come back to Gainesville, regroup and get to work,” Morgan said. “We are really looking to establish ourselves and that is going to take a lot of hard work and effort. I know our guys are up for it.”
The Gators compete Saturday, Oct. 10 in the Florida State Invitational in Tallahassee. The men’s 8K race begins at 7:50 a.m. and the women’s 5K at 8:30.
NOTRE DAME INVITATIONAL
Friday at South Bend, Ind.
WOMEN’S 5K RESULTS
Number in parentheses is latest ranking
Top 10 teams: 1. (1) Washington 33; 2. (6) Princeton 68; 3. (15) Florida 104; 4. (22) Penn State 152; 5. (13) Arizona State 170; 6. (25) New Mexico 178; 7. (3) Florida State 179; 8. Southern Methodist 218 and (6) Providence 218; 10. (24) Notre Dame 288.
Top finisher: Kendra Schaaf (Washington) 16:31.
Florida runners: 6. Stacey Johnson 16:41; 9. Charlottte Browning 16:59; 22. Rebecca Lowe 17:11; 26. Genevieve LaCaze 17:18; 41. Julie Northrup 17:27; 65. Kaitlin Shiver 17:40; 99. Laura Garrow 18:09; 112. Ali Crabb 18:20; 132. Sydney Devore 18:36.
MEN’S 8K RESULTS
Number in parentheses is latest ranking
Top 10 teams: 1. (22) Washington 113; 2. (15) Providence 119; 3. (24) New Mexico 151 and (20) Butler 151; 5. Arizona State 158; 6. (26) Florida State 187; 7. (11) Tulsa 232; 8. Southern Illinois 236; 9. Utah State 256; 10. (30) Princeton 262.
Florida finish: 17th, 386.
Top finisher: Jacob Kirwa (New Mexico) 23:44.
Florida runners: 38. Anthony Morales 24:30; 77. Justin Taylor 25:03; 87. Aaron Kindt 25:09; 89. Derek Wehunt 25:12; 95. James Uthmeier 25:16; 115. Josh Izewski 25:33; 125. Matt Hensley 25:40; 134. Michael Anderson 25:56.
MEN’S TENNIS: Florida had a strong performance on the first day of the Seminole Invitational hosted by Florida State University in Tallahassee. The tournament continues Saturday and concludes Sunday.
Junior Erik Corace of Naples and freshman William Federhofer of North Miami both went 2-0, while junior No. 117 Johnny Hamui of Wesley Chapel and senior Daniel Cash of Norway each went 1-1. All four Gators competed in the “A” singles draw. The losses suffered by Hamui and Cash came in third-set tiebreakers.
At Florida State, Tallahassee
Class A singles
(117) Johnny Hamui (Florida) def. Marc Misanovic (Bethune-Cookman), 6-4, 6-0.
Daniel Cash (Florida) def. Edio Castanhel (Georgia Southern), 6-3, 6-1.
William Federhofer (Florida) def. Moritz Buercher (North Florida), 6-1, 6-1.
Erik Corace (Florida) def. Johan Beigart (UCF), 7-6, 7-6.
Tyrone Ewels (UAB) def. (117) Johnny Hamui (Florida), 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (1).
Claudio Romano (UCF) def. Daniel Cash (Florida), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1).
William Federhofer (Florida) def. Chris Doerr (Mississippi State), 6-3, 7-5.
Erik Corace (Florida) def. Alex Pukal (South Florida), 6-1, 6-1.