The Florida men’s and women’s cross country teams reached the finish line of their 2014 season Friday morning.
The teams had previously hoped to live up to the expectations from last season, where the Gators were able to reach the NCAA Championship on the men’s side along with two individual runners from the women’s side.
With both feats out of reach this season, coach Paul Spangler instead focused his teams on improving on this season’s disappointing performances.
"Both teams did better, a lot better than two weeks ago," Spangler said. "I thought we did a much better job than we did at the SEC Championships. With that being said, we are not satisfied with our result and we need to get better."
For the men, the team finished eighth overall, seven spots behind region winner Ole Miss.
On the other side, Florida’s women rounded out the top five — four places behind a Vanderbilt team that claimed its first regional championship in program history.
The women’s team failed to send a runner to the NCAA Championship for the first time in the last nine years.
For a team comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores, the focus turns to improving the team for the future.
Despite the unenthusiastic team results, the Gators were encouraged with numerous signs of improvement from both sides, as 11 of the 14 Florida runners finished the race with personal-best times.
Sophomore Taylor Tubbs and redshirt freshman Becky Greene both placed in the top-25 individually for the women’s team. The duo earned All-South Region honors with their performances. Redshirt Lauren Brasure’s time of 20:35 in the 6k was the fastest time recorded by a Florida freshman at an NCAA Regional event.
"I thought Taylor and Becky ran very well, and I am proud of them for earning All-Region honors," Spangler said. "...I thought Lauren Brasure did a great job coming off an off race at the SEC Championships. She had a very good run to end her year."
Redshirt sophomore Mac Reynolds led the men’s squad with a time of 31:36 in the 10k. Elliot Clemente, Thomas Howell, Carlos Miranda, and David Kilgore all cracked the top 75.
At-large bids for the 2014 NCAA Championships were revealed Saturday, with neither Florida team receiving a call to run in Indiana this weekend at the NCAA Championship.
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Taylor Tubbs races in the Southeastern Conference Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, on the Mark Bostick Golf Course.