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Monday, June 24, 2024

The UF men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2007 season with victories Friday night in the Mountain Dew Invitational.

The annual event, held at the UF Golf Course, featured 1,500 runners from high schools and colleges around Florida.

The men's team finished first out of 16 teams in the 8K run with a total time of 2:06:06.42, while the women also took top honors in the 5K run with a total time of 1:30:19.72.

UF coach Jeff Pigg was pleased with both teams' performances, but he expects a lot more to come this season.

Senior Enoch Nadler led the UF men's squad, finishing first overall in 24:48.73 and with a comfortable 23-second margin. Nadler finished second in the event last year.

"To run this well and still be working this hard, it's definitely a good sign for things to come," Nadler said.

Nadler has high expectations for this year's team, and he hopes that the hard work and preparation will pay off.

"This is my fourth year being here, and I feel like what we're doing this year is the best we've ever done," he said. "We've got a lot of depth this year. It's definitely going to be a great year and hopefully the best team we've had in a long time."

Senior Lindsay Sundell led the women's team, finishing second overall in 17:41.88, five seconds off the lead. Sundell won the race a year ago.

She said the goal this year was to stay together as a pack, something the team did really well as 12 Gators finished in the top 22.

Sundell believes this race should help set the tone for the rest of the season, especially since she thinks this might be one of UF's best women's teams in recent memory.

"We're really good this year," she said. "I think we should win SECs. I think as a team we're as good as we've ever been since I've been here."

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Sundell said that the team has a good mixture of upper- and lower-classmen, and the younger talent showed immediately with two freshmen finishing in the top five overall.

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