Saturday’s Mountain Dew Invitational proved to be exciting for both the men and women, with the men losing by the narrowest of margins and the women’s race coming down to a sprint to the finish.
The women’s team, led by Becky Greene and Taylor Tubbs, took first overall with 36 points. The Gators were dominant, as they placed four runners in the top six. Their score of 36 beat the next closest team, the University of North Florida (UNF), by 55 points.
The results weren’t very exciting nor surprising based on how many Gators were at the front of the pack at the finish line.
However, what was exciting was the race for first place between Florida’s Becky Greene and UCF’s Anne-Marie Blaney, who ran unattached.
Coming down the final stretch towards the finish line, it was neck and neck until about 15 yards out, when Blaney was able to pull away from Greene and take the individual title. Greene, for her part, was a little bummed out put pleased overall.
“It was little disappointing not to get the win but it was really good to hear that we won,” she said.
For the men, everything was reversed. While UF’s Eddie Garcia was able to capture the individual title, the team fell short to UNF by the smallest possible amount: 1 point.
The Ospreys edged out Florida 31-32 in a race where Florida actually had a better overall time than UNF by four seconds.
Garcia, while understandably displeased, feels that the team can forget such a close loss and move forward.
“I would lie to you if I told you I wasn’t disappointed, but I know that I told the guys ‘let’s just leave it behind here…, let’s just come out to Notre Dame and compete with Gator pride.’”
Cross country coach Paul Spangler goes even further, saying that this loss can be used as motivation moving forward.
“They will go into the next race with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove,” he said.
The next race that he’s referring to is the Notre Dame Invitational, which will be held in two weeks on Oct. 2.
Therefore, the men will have two weeks to put this loss behind them while the women will now try to build on their success.
Follow Ethan Bauer on Twitter @ebaueri
UF's Becky Greene (right) races to the finish during the Mountain Dew Invitational on Sept. 19, 2015, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.
UF's Eddie Garcia races during the Mountain Dew Invitational on Sept. 19, 2015, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.