What most would consider a difficult season came to an end for Florida as the SEC Championships, the fourth and final meet of the season, took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Friday.
For only the second time this season for the Gators, the women’s 6k began the morning. Mercy Chelangat of Alabama championed the race with a time of 19:46.5. Her lowest position the entire race was 5th.
Arkansas continued its dominance of the SEC championship race, winning its 8th consecutive title with a team score of 41. While UF finished 9th, the performance of freshman Vasileia Spyrou could have the team looking forward to its potential with a budding star. Finishing in 17th place with a time of 20:42.3, only two other freshmen beat the Greek on the day. Spyrou can add this to her collegiate accomplishments after being named SEC Women’s Freshman Runner of the Week last week.
The men’s race followed shortly after with another impressive individual performance from a Florida runner. Junior Trevor Foley led the pack for about the first third of the race, losing his lead shortly before the two-mile mark. This would not stop him from coming in 13th place with a time of 24:19.2, good enough to secure a spot on the all-SEC second team. It’s the first time a Florida runner has been on an All-SEC team since Jimmy Clark in 2015. Ole Miss took all three spots on the podium, with junior Mario Gracia Romo taking the top spot at 23:32.9. Despite taking the gold, silver and bronze individually, Ole Miss’s title streak came to an end Friday, as the Arkansas men matched their female counterparts and took the title with a team score of 35.
Although there were no meet victories this season for either team, UF can look forward to its individual performances on both sides, which will carry them into the future.
With cross country season now complete, Florida looks to indoor track season, slated to start in January.
Contact Myles Herbert at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @myles_herbert.