GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s women’s cross country team, ranked No. 7 nationally, clinched the 2023 SEC Cross Country Championship title with a first-place finish in Columbia, South Carolina.
The No. 7 Florida Gators amassed 49 points, outpacing No. 11 Arkansas (59), No. 23 Tennessee (80), No. 13 Alabama (84), and No. 18 Ole Miss (107) to secure the win.
Stellar Performance by Parker Valby
Parker Valby, a standout athlete for the Gators, was crowned the SEC Women’s Individual Champion for the second consecutive year. Valby led the race for the final 2000 meters, finishing with an impressive time of 18:37.5, a staggering 33.8 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.
Flomena Asekol, a transfer from the University of Alabama, finished fourth with a time of 19:31.9, marking perhaps the most impressive race of her collegiate career. Amelia Mazza-Downie, making her season and SEC debut, placed eighth overall with a time of 19:56.7.
The Gators’ victory marks their seventh SEC Cross Country title and the first since 2012. This win also extends Florida’s streak of securing at least one SEC team title for 46 consecutive seasons, the longest current streak in the league.
Men’s Team Shows Improvement
On the men’s side, the Florida Gators improved from a 10th-place finish in 2022 to a 7th-place finish this year in the 8k Championship. No. 8 Arkansas sealed the victory in the team race, scoring 38 points to dethrone the defending champion and No. 22 Alabama with 57 points.
Scoring today for Florida men in the 8k Championship were Ethan Geiger, Parvej Khan, Joe Wester, Adam Magoulas and Aiden Villasuso. The team average time was 24:35.