Florida’s cross country team came away with wins in the men’s 8K and women’s 5K at the FSU Invitational on Friday to sweep the competition.
The Gators were coming off a disappointing outing in Virginia and traveled to Tallahassee knowing the Seminoles would not be competing with their top runners. Considering that FSU has the No. 11 women’s team along with the No. 30 men’s team, the Gators had an opportunity that they could not afford to squander.
And they didn’t.
Senior Jessica Pascoe (17:20.1) finished first for the third time in as many meets to continue her dominant season. Junior Payton Capes-Davis (17:48.1), sophomore Imogen Barrett (17:57.7) and redshirt freshman Pamela O’Brien (18:00.4) rounded out the top 10 for UF, finishing fourth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
The Seminoles came in second by a large margin, 34 points behind Florida.
On the men’s side, the Gators were in a very familiar situation — one where they find themselves with a victory, but no individual finishing ahead of North Florida sophomore Nathan Jubran (24:40.6).
Jubran has finished first for the Ospreys in all three meets where it competed against Florida, most recently at the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville.
Still, just like that same meet, Jubran’s team was unable to help carry the load, and Florida came away with the win.
The Gators had three top-five finishes in redshirt sophomore Matt Clark (24:43.0), redshirt junior Colin Schaefer (24:47.4) and redshirt senior Jack Guyton (24:48.5). The runners finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
During training this week, assistant coach Chris Solinsky said that the men needed to be more confident and trust in themselves when competing. He saw just that on Friday.
“The men were aggressive and ran tough as a team,” Solinsky said. “They did a good job of finding each other and pushing one another the whole race. The best is yet to come.”
The team will travel to College Station, Texas, for its next meet, the Arturo Barrios Invitational on Oct. 19.
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