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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Florida will compete in what may be its final meet of the season in Tallahassee on Friday at 8:30 a.m. when Florida State hosts the NCAA South Regional Championships.

UF is coming off a disappointing outing at the SEC Championships just two weeks ago where the women’s team had a season-low finish at 11th place and the men finished sixth in Lexington, Kentucky.

If UF wants any chance of qualifying for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23, it will have to have one of its best meets of the season.

On the women’s side, senior Jessica Pascoe has been the constant for her team. She placed first in her four meets prior to SECs ­— where she finished seventh — and will need to replicate the success she had last year at SECs when she finished second overall and led the women’s team to the NCAAs for the first time since 2012.

The men finished 11th at SECs last year, and did not qualify for NCAAs for the fifth year in a row. The process of qualifying for NCAAs, however, can get a little tricky.

There are nine regional championship meets around the country and the winners and runner- ups at each of those meets are guaranteed a spot at NCAAs which means that 18 squads automatically qualify.

The 13 remaining spots are called “at-large” spots.Teams are awarded these spots based on how they fared against the 18 teams that automatically qualified during the regular season.

In addition, there are 38 individuals that are invited to NCAAs. The top four runners in each regional meet who is on a team that did not qualify for NCAAs will be invited, and the last two spots are given to runners who finished in the top 25 from any of the regional meets.

The regional will start with the women’s 6K at 8:30 a.m. and the men’s 10K will be at 9:30 a.m. 

Follow Joseph Salvador on Twitter @JSalvadorSports. Contact him at jsalvador@alligator.org.

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