Despite facing stiff competition, the Gators cross country teams believe they can pull off upsets at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday.
BEvery time you line up, you?ve got to believe that you have a chance to win,C senior Enoch Nadler said.
UF will face off against ranked foes No. 8 Arkansas and No. 12 Alabama.
The Arkansas men?s team has won the SEC Championship each of the previous 16 years under Coach John McDonnell, but the UF men challenged them last year, finishing second.
The Gators men have finished second or third in the meet every year since 2002.
UF coach Jeff Pigg said his teams must only worry about themselves, not the competition.
BWe can only control what we give,C Pigg said. BWe can?t control what we get.C
Nadler said he tries not to focus on where his team ranks, but instead hopes that working hard and competing well will bring an BacceptableC outcome.
On the women?s side, freshman Rebecca Lowe has helped pace the Gators by finishing with the team?s second-fastest time in the each of the last two races.
Before this season, she had run individual cross country meets, but never on a team.
She said her teammates have encouraged her to step up her times, and she has responded to their encouragement.
BI feel like each time I?m adapting better and getting more confidence,C Lowe said.
The women?s team finished fourth a year ago and would like nothing more than to come away victorious this time.
BIt would be amazing if we could win,C Lowe said. BWe?re really preparing ourselves for the championship end of the season. So it?s exciting now that we?re all getting our confidence and a bit of speed.C
Pigg said his team has improved each week of the season.
BAs long as we go line up and do what I think we?re capable of, then we?ll be good,C Pigg said.