Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, May 27, 2024
<p>Jimmy Clark races during the 2013 Mountain Dew Invitational.</p>

Jimmy Clark races during the 2013 Mountain Dew Invitational.

On Friday the 13th, the University of Florida’s cross country teams were hoping for a stroke of good fortune.

But while both the men’s and women’s sides fell short in their chase for a NCAA Cross Country Championship bid, two particular runners lucked out.

Jimmy Clark and Eddie Garcia, an inseparable tandem since arriving in Gainesville five years ago, ran their way to individual berths to the national championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

Posting collegiate bests in the men’s 10k event, the pairing finished fourth and fifth in the individual standings, crossing the finish line 3.46 seconds apart.

Completing the run in 30:42.29, Clark plastered his name across the University of Florida’s record books, joining Mark Parrish as the only other Gator runner since 1998 with multiple top-five finishes at the NCAA South Regional Championship.

The St. Johns, Florida, native is also the only Gator with four top-15 finishes at the event.

The fifth runner with three top-15 finishes at this contest since 1998, Eddie Garcia is also one of six Gators with multiple top-10 performances.

Their performances were good enough to secure All-South Region honors — the fourth and third of their collegiate careers, respectively — with Clark becoming the first Gator in program history to earn the distinction four times.

Joining his teammates on the honor roll, junior Carlos Miranda nabbed the first such distinction of his career, propelling the Gators to a tantalizingly close third place finish.

“The men were also much improved from where they were at at the SEC Championship — one place out of making it to nationals,” coach Paul Spangler said in a release. “Eddie and Jimmy getting through as individuals. I’m extremely proud of them. Carlos did a nice job to earn All-Region honors.”

The women, once again, were led by freshman Maria Larsen, with the Danish import finishing 16th en route to winning her first All-Region honor. Continuing her dominant campaign, she tied Cory McGee for the third-highest finish by a true freshman at South Regionals since 1998.

Furthermore, her time of 20:42.13 was good for the third-fastest 6k by a Gator freshman at the race in the same timeframe, ranking only behind McGee and Lauren Brasure.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Guiding the Gators to a ninth place finish out of a field of 30 teams, Larsen and junior Taylor Tubbs were the only Florida athletes to place in the top-30.

Commenting on their performance, Spangler looked towards the future, noting the importance of having continuity on the women’s roster heading into next season.

“I thought Maria did a good job up front. Taylor did a decent job; Becky (Greene) had a much-improved race from (where she was) at the SEC Championship.

“We will have the whole team back next year, and we have to continue to move forward and get better.”

 Follow Alejandro Lopez on Twitter @ajlb95

Jimmy Clark races during the 2013 Mountain Dew Invitational.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.