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USF advances to NCAA meet

The USF women's cross-country team placed four runners in the top 25 and finished second in defense of its NCAA South Region Championship on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

While the Bulls couldn't successfully defend their 2000 region title, they did qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19 at Furman.

USF junior Kristy Fuller led the Bulls' efforts, finishing the 6K race in 11th with a time of 21:37.39. Twin sisters Tara (21:53.17) and Tiffany Quinn (22:17.33) placed 15th and 24th, respectively, and freshman Christa Benton was 22nd in 22:12.02.

USF finished second to Georgia Tech. The Bulls had 102 points to Tech's 54. Florida State was third with 113.

MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY: Rolando Ortiz was the only Gator to qualify for the NCAA Championships after placing eighth in the South Region Championships.

Florida took fifth overall in the meet at Tuscaloosa.

The top two teams from the region automatically qualify for NCAA Championships, as well as the top four individuals not on one of the top two squads.

Ortiz and Moise Joseph earned All-South Region honors for finishing in the top 25 in the men's 10K race.

Ortiz ran a 31:23.27 to become one of the four individuals from the region to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Joseph finished 24th with a career-best 10K time of 32:06.30.

Alabama won the championship with 55 points. The Tide's David Kimani was the individual champion with a time of 30:06.43. The other South Region team that qualified was Tennessee with 84 points.

Miami sophomore Matt Mulvaney finished 37th with a time of 32:33.42. Senior Jeff Gaulrapp finished the 10,000-meter course in 33:49.22 to place 76th.

SWIMMING: The Florida women continued their undefeated season by turning back SEC East rival South Carolina 139-104 at the Carolina Natatorium in Columbia, S.C.

While the Gators took a 13-0 all-time mark against South Carolina, the Gamecocks got the best of the men's team, winning 129-114.

The women won seven of the 15 events and scored 24 top-three finishes.

Sophomore Janelle Atkinson scored the first victory in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.03), one of three events in which she has qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Junior Sarah Close of Clearwater again led the Gator divers with two second-place finishes, 262.80 and 263.25 in the 1- and 3-meter boards, respectively.

Up next for UF: Florida State at 4 p.m. Friday in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natatorium.

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