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Tuesday, December 07, 2021
<p>Cory McGee runs in the SEC Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.</p>

Cory McGee runs in the SEC Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Only two teams — Arizona State in 2008 and LSU in 2004 — have entered the NCAA Indoor Championships with both the men’s and women’s teams ranked No. 1 and won both titles.

Today, the Gators look to become the third.

If Florida wants to stamp its name on that record, it needs to accumulate more points than its Southeastern Conference foes Arkansas and Texas A&M, which are ranked second and third on the men’s side and third for A&M on the women’s.

Although the pressure is on, this has become almost an enjoyable break for the Gators.

“This is the fun time of the season,” senior runner Cory McGee said. “This is the part where we get to back off in training and we know that all the hard work is done.

“You come out to practice, and we’re all doing workouts at race pace and feeling confident in our fitness and where we are in our year and how everything has progressed.”

McGee — who gathered numerous awards in the past week, including a Women’s First-Team All-SEC selection and South Region Women’s Runner of the Year — has approached nationals thinking less of those awards she won and more on her team clinching a title.

The Pass Christian, Miss., native has repeatedly said the point of finishing her senior year as a Gator is to win a title.

However, the women’s team hasn’t won an indoor title since the 1992 season — their sole indoor title.

But the women’s squad is the SEC Indoor champions, and this is their best chance they’ve had for their first national title in 22 years.

On the other hand, the men have accumulated three straight indoor titles from 2010-12 and intend to bring the title back to Gainesville after faltering in 2013.

Defending champion hurdler Eddie Lovett and 200-meter SEC champion Arman Hall look to lead the Gators to that championship.

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Hall, who put up 20 points on his own in three events (200m, 400-meter, 4x400-relay), has a shot at snagging his first NCAA indoor title in multiple events.

“Knowing that I can at least do the four, the two and the 4x4, it’s a great thing for me to know, because now I have more confidence in myself to know I could really double,” Hall said.

“Now since I know I can successfully [double], I just got to keep carrying that on to nationals and outdoors as well.”

The Gators have a lot to live up to. They have won the title before, and now they look to make this team one to remember.

“So now we’re going to nationals, they have us No. 1, we’re not going to let it get to our heads a lot because that’s just a ranking,” Hall said.

“We want to show everybody that we’re No. 1, we don’t want to talk about it.”

Follow Lawrence Laguna on Twitter @LagunaLawrence

Cory McGee runs in the SEC Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

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