Men's cross country team excels at Nationals

The Gator men's cross country team placed 22nd at the NCAA Division II National Championship race in Joplin, Mo. on Saturday, bringing an exciting end to a breakout year for the team.

A photo of Bruk Assefa running at the 2012 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships

Bruk Assefa led the Gators to a 22nd place finish at Nationals (Credit: Dan Pambianco)

"We had a great experience at nationals and a great year overall," said head coach Tom Lyons. "The guys prepared well and didn’t let the hype get to them. It's rare for any team to have their best races at the end of the year, when it counts most, but it really worked out for us."

The team's performance was highlighted by a 45th place overall finish by junior Bruk Assefa, in a run that placed him second on the Gators' all time list for the 10 Kilometer (10K) distance. The rest of the Gator runners also gave it their all -- every runner surpassed their personal best time for the 10K.

Click to read more about the Gators 22nd place finish at Nationals.

Click to read more about the 2012 Gator men's cross country team.

-- Philip Riley