Phone: (850) 474-2428
October 19, 2005
Cross Country Squads Look to End Conference Title Drought
FLA. Seeking their first conference titles since 1996, The
University of West Florida mens and womens cross country squads
will participate in the 2005 Gulf South Conference Championships this
Saturday at Plough Park in Memphis, Tenn. The mens 8K race will
begin at 9 a.m. followed by the womens 5K run at 10 a.m.
squad has had a solid regular season. The Argonauts defeated Belhaven
and Spring Hill in duel meets while winning the team title at the Argonaut
Invitational and the Blazer Classic. West Florida also posted a second
place finish at the UAH Invitational, and a fourth place showing at the
South Pre-Regional. Only one Division II team, Clayton State, finished
higher than West Florida in their six races this season.
have finished second to Harding in three of the last five years and it
is getting old, said West Florida mens and womens head
coach Matt Dobson. We have made progress at each of the last three
conference championships and we will challenge them again this year.
are led by junior Michael Padilla, who won four races and finished third
overall in the other two meets. Padilla broke his own 8K school record
by 12 seconds with a time of 24:40 at the Blazer Classic. Padilla was
the highest Argonaut finisher in fifth place at last years GSC Championships,
and Dobson expects Padilla to challenge for the individual championship
Caleb Carmichael has finished in the top ten in all six races this season,
including four second place finishes. Carmichael set a personal best 8K
time of 25:37 at the Blazer Classic. He finished seventh overall at last
years GSC Championships.
Joining Padilla and Carmichael at the GSC Championships will be Dan Bauer, Justin Dickieson, Brian Gowin, Craig Henry, and Sam Ishee. West Florida finished second to Harding at last years GSC Championships in Huntsville, Ala. Harding has won the last three conference championships. The Argonauts have won the GSC Championship twice, in 1994 and 1996.
team enters the race ranked 20th in the NCAA Division II. West Florida
won duel meets over Belhaven and Valdosta State as well as a tri-meet
against Spring Hill and Montevallo. The Argonauts captured the Blazer
Classic Title, and finished second at both the UAH Invitational and the
South Region Pre-Regional. Alabama-Huntsville and Harding are in
a class by themselves, but we are a much improved team from last year,
said Dobson. Our veterans are in better shape this year, and our
freshman class has given us new life and spark.
Dawn Kane leads the Argonauts womens squad after two first places
finishes and three top 10 finishes. Kane ran a personal best time of 19:37
as she finished second at the Blazer Classic. Last year, Kane placed 33rd
overall at the GSC Championships and was the second-highest Argonaut finisher.
Nicole Stanley has put together a solid freshman campaign with five top
10 finishes, including a second place finish at the Argonaut Invitational.
Stanley also placed third in the dual meet against Belhaven, and posted
two fourth place finishes at the Blazer Classic and in the tri-meet against
Montevallo and Spring Hill.
and Stanley will be joined Naomi Evangelista, Lindsay Failing, Kim Gallagher,
Margaret Harter, and Diana Sitar. West Florida finished eighth at last
years GSC Championships. Alabama-Huntsville won their second consecutive
conference title last year. Either Alabama-Huntsville or Harding has won
the GSC Championship every year since 1999. The Argonauts won their only
conference championship in 1996.
The top ten finishers will be automatically named members of the All-GSC First Team. Those runners finishing in 11th through 20th place will earn Second Team honors.