The regular season is over for the Florida cross country team. Nobody may be happier than Jessica Pascoe, who quite frankly, might be getting bored of the competition.
The senior has now finished first in every meet she has competed in this season, the first women’s runner to do so in Florida’s history. It could have been a season sweep if she had competed in the season opener at the UNF Invitational.
Nonetheless, four first-place finishes in a row is nothing to sneeze at.
Pascoe finished with a time of 20:00.4 in the women’s 6K at the Arturo Barrios Invitational in College Station, Texas, on Saturday. The next runner didn’t finish for another 15 seconds.
To round out the top three for the Gators was junior Payton Capes-Davis (21.06.7) at 22nd and redshirt freshman Pamela O’Brien (21:23.0) at 31st, who both set personal records.
The women’s team finished third behind California Baptist University and Middle Tennessee State University.
The men’s team found itself in fourth place behind Middle Tennessee, Texas A&M and CBU in the 8K.
The men were led by redshirt junior Colin Schaefer (24.08.0), who finished 15th, followed by redshirt sophomores Matt Clark (24:27.4) and Nick Deal (24:43.3), who finished 30th and 39th, respectively.
Assistant coach Chris Solinsky liked what he saw from his men’s team, which was coming off a ninth-place finish at the Virginia Invitational a week ago.
“This is the best I’ve ever seen them look since I’ve been here,” Solinsky said.
In addition, both teams were short-handed going into College Station. Florida was without redshirt seniors Elisabeth Bergh and Jack Guyton, two key pieces to their teams this season. The two were on a school trip to Berlin.
Solinsky didn’t downplay the significance of not having two of his best runners on Saturday and said it hurt them.
Despite the positives and negatives from the day, Solinsky and the team’s minds are on the postseason. This was Florida’s final meet before the SEC Championships on Nov. 1.
“We’re a postseason team, not a regular season team,” Solinsky said. “We’re going to be at our best at the most important time.”
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