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Monday, February 26, 2024

Florida cross country prepares for a two-meet day Friday

Gators cross country will split into two teams to participate in the Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational and the UCF Invitational on Friday.

Florida's Grace Blair competes during the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville on Sept. 11.
Florida's Grace Blair competes during the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville on Sept. 11.

After taking first pAfter taking first place in the opening meet of the season nearly three weeks ago, the Gators cross country team will return to the course in two separate locations on Friday. 

Florida will send eight men and eight women to South Bend, Indiana to participate in the Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational  Friday morning. Later in the evening, 11 other runners will stay more local, with six men and five women set to compete in the UCF Invitational.

In Indiana, the men will run a 5-mile course, while the women will run a 5K. The men’s race begins at 11 a.m., and the women follow at 11:45 a.m.

Both the men and the women will compete against top-10 ranked teams in South Bend on Friday. The women’s race includes competition from No. 2 NC State, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 6 Alabama, No. 8 Michigan and Washington. 

The men’s field includes top-10 opponents like No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 10 Butler and fellow SEC teams, Alabama, Kentucky and Ole Miss. 

The women competing for the Gators in South Bend include Emily Culley, Maria Fernandez, Pamela O’Brien, Stephanie Ormsby, Jordan Shapiro, Vasileia Spryou, Parker Valby and Liina Winborn. 

Valby and O’Brien both earned podium finishes in the Mountain Dew Invitational on Sept. 11. Valby finished in second place, and O’Brien snagged a third-place finish. 

The Gators participating on the men’s side include Nick Deal, Ethan Geiger, Reed Legg, Matt Mule’, Josh Stern, Angel Vicioso, Joe Wester and Cavan Wilson. 

Geiger and Deal will be runners to look out for, as they took third and fourth place, respectively, in the Mountain Dew Invitational.

Over in Orlando, 11 more Gators will compete in the evening at the UCF Invitational. The men kick things off with a 6K race starting at 6 p.m. The women will follow with a 5K at 6:30 p.m. 

The women competing at the UCF Invitational include Jackie Addy, Gianna Forte, Julia Lavrador, Keleigh Scallon and Cheyenne Young. 

The men’s lineup includes Orlando Cicilioni, Michael Fiore, Ryan Miller, Cade Monk, Javi Vento and Aiden Villasuso. 

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Live results from both races can be found at

Contact Sara Kate Dyson at Follow her on Twitter at @sarakatedyson.

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