The UF Cross Country team’s season came to an end on Nov. 11 in Tallahassee at the NCAA South Regional Championship. Both the men and women’s teams finished outside of the top two, which would have directly qualified them to nationals.
The UF men took eighth place, marking only the third time since 1996 the team hasn’t placed within the South Region’s top four.
“We can do better than that,” sophomore athlete Magnus Pettersen. “We are not eighth in this region.
“I should’ve done better… In order for us to do well as a team, we have to do better as individuals.”
Some individuals on the men’s team performed well, including sophomore Jack Guyton and senior Carlos Miranda. Guyton ran a personal record in the 10k meet, finishing 39th overall. Miranda finished 15th, a performance that earned him All-South Region honors.
Along with Miranda, sophomore Elisabeth Bergh for the women’s team finished with All-South Region accolades. Bergh took ninth overall and ran a personal best time, marking her third top-10 finish of the season.
Despite Bergh’s performance, the women’s team finished in sixth place. However, the women were plagued by injuries and misfortune heading into Tallahassee.
Sophomores Lauren Perry and Noora Wallenius were both sidelined with injuries for the South Regional Championship.
The women also missed their two senior athletes in Taylor Tubbs and Amber Johnson.
Tubbs, arguably the team’s top runner, fell ill with a virus the week of the meet and didn’t recover in time.
“I know it was tough for her not to race,” coach Paul Spangler said, “(but) it wouldn’t have been in the best interest of her health.”
Without four of its top seven athletes, the women were forced to employ freshmen Jessica Pascoe and Hannah Brookover, who finished second and third, respectively.
“I thought the seven girls we went up there with did a fantastic job,” said Spangler.
“Sometimes you have bad luck, but you just have to overcome. And I thought that group that went up there, they fought and a lot of them came out with huge PRs, and left there feeling good.”
Taylor Tubbs races in the Southeastern Conference Championships on Nov. 1, 2013, on the Mark Bostick Golf Course.