UF runner earns SEC Athlete of Year Award
Freshman cross country runner Genevieve LaCaze, a native of Queensland, Australia, was named the 2008 SEC Female Freshman Athlete of the Year, the league announced Thursday.
Also, St. Pete native Ali Crabb was among six runners, including LaCaze, who were named All-SEC for their performances at the SEC Championship on Nov. 3.
This the second time a Gator has earned Freshman of the Year; Hilary White won the award in 2000.
LaCaze was the first female freshman to cross the finish line at the SEC Championship in Starkville, Miss., placing sixth in a 6K time of 20:49.73. She has made an immediate impact on the Florida cross country program, placing first overall in her first collegiate meet, the Mountain Dew Invitational, on Sept. 20. She currently holds the third-best time in UF record books for her 5K time on the UF Golf Course (17:34.79) and the time she ran at the SECs ranks sixth overall for Gators’ 6K times and SEC Championship times.
LaCaze finished every race as one of Florida’s top three runners, including the second spot at the Pre-National Meet (32nd overall) and the third spot at the Notre Dame Invitational (28th overall). This season she also ran her 5K personal best - 17:15.
Crabb led the way for the Gator women with a fifth-place finish at the conference meet. She was followed by LaCaze and Charlotte Browning, who came in seventh.
Crabb finished in the top three for the Gators all season, including a second-place finish at the Mountain Dew Invitational. She is fifth in Florida record books for the 6K time (20:42.57) and SEC Championship time and ranks sixth on the Gators’ UF Golf Course 5K list (17:36.99). The All-SEC honor is the first for Crabb.