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Last updated 11/24/17



Five All-ASUN Perfomances Push Men's Cross Country to Runner-up Finish
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Oct. 28, 2017

COURSE REPORT: The North Florida men's cross country team claimed runner-up honors at the ASUN Championship on Saturday morning after seeing three runners finish in the top six and all five scoring runners earning all-conference accolades.

FINISH LINE
- Junior Nick Morken led the charge for the Ospreys, finishing second in an 8k PR time of 24:09. Morken, who was the defending individual champion of the event, also set a new program record time at ASUN Championship
- Senior Tyler Stahl also clocked a PR time of 24:28 en route to his third-place finish while sophomore Noah Perkins was sixth in a PR time of 24:42.
- Junior Fynn Timm was 11th in a PR of 25:05 and sophomore Rob Leverone finished 12th at 25:07 to round out the list of UNF scoring runners
- Sophomore Anderson Bobo along with freshman Christian Conder and Jared Vazquez also posted PR runs for the Ospreys

ALL-CONFERENCE OSPREYS
Nick Morken - 1st team All-ASUN
Tyler Stahl - 1st team All-ASUN
Noah Perkins - 1st team All-ASUN
Fynn Timm - 2nd team All-ASUN
Rob Leverone - 2nd team All-ASUN

THOUGHTS FROM COACH PIGG...
"It was a very hard fought battle with Lipscomb. I thought we competed very well but just missed out by a little. Nick led with way with an outstanding performance and personal best. Tyler Stahl finished third with another outstanding race and these two guys continue to do a good job of leading our program. Noah Perkins also ran very well finishing with a nice personal best. It was nice to have Fynn Timm finish fourth after running his fastest time and continue his strong season. Rob Leverone has made great improvements and I'm very proud of his efforts as it came through today. I wish we could have sent Tyler out with a win but I'm very proud of what we've accomplished so far this season."

WHAT'S NEXT
North Florida will compete at the NCAA South Regional meet on Nov. 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

UNF Results
2. Nick Morken (24:09.8) - PR
3. Tyler Stahl (24:28.9) - PR
6. Noah Perkins (24:42.7) - PR
11. Fynn Timm (25:05.4) - PR
12. Rob Leverone (25:07.4)
25. Anderson Bobo (26:17.5) - PR
26. Christian Conder (26:21.5) - debut
27. Leo Queyrou (26:30.7)
30. Jared Vazquez (26:37.5) - PR

Team Results
1. Lipscomb (29)
2. North Florida (34)
3. Kennesaw State (97)
4. USC Upstate (131)
5. FGCU (135)
6. NJIT (137)
7. Stetson (150)
8. Jacksonville (229)


Cross Country Competes at ASUN Championship on Saturday
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Oct. 27, 2017

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The North Florida cross country teams will toe the start line for the ASUN Championship on Saturday morning at Sam Smith Park. The men's 8k championship begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by the women's 5k race at 9:30 a.m.

The Osprey men, currently ranked 9th in the USTFCCCA South Region poll, are the defending ASUN Champions. UNF dominated the field last year boasting four the the top five finishers led by ASUN Runner of the Year, Nick Morken. The team has enjoyed a strong campaign this year owning a pair of event titles and looking to build on a seventh-place finish at the competitive Alabama Crimson Classic just two weeks ago.

The UNF women's team, who is ranked 13th in the latest USTFCCA South Region poll, hopes to build on their third place finish a year ago in the ASUN Championship. Eden Meyer led the way last year for the Ospreys, setting a course record en route to claiming ASUN Runner of the Year honors and the individual race championship. Meyer has continued her strong running, finishing first twice this fall before earning a runner-up finish at Alabama in the last meet.

Thoughts from Coach Pigg:
"It has been a great fall season. The team came in from the summer training ready to go and we have made very good progress throughout the year. This is a special group of kids who have worked hard and who trust the process. It is time to cash in."

Event Schedule
8:30 a.m. – College Men's 8k
9:30 a.m. – College Women's 5k

Ospreys Scheduled to Compete
Women (7)
Name (Collegiate 5k PR)
Eden Meyer (16:58.53)
Claudia Jalon (17:58.1)
Grace Meyer (18:10.36)
Audrey Carpenter (18:20.06)
Skye Zeller (19:12.39)
Hannah Evans (19:34.14)
Ciara Golliher (20:06.6)

Men (9)
Name (Collegiate 8k PR)
Nick Morken (24:38.8)
Tyler Stahl (25:08.4)
Noah Perkins (25:18.6)
Fynn Timm (25:27.61)
Rob Leverone (25:41.5)
Leo Queyrou (26:15.4)
Anderson Bobo (26:45.2)
Jared Vazquez (27:25.4)
Christian Conder (---)

UP NEXT
Following the ASUN Conference Championships, North Florida is set to participate in the NCAA South Region meet on Nov. 10, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.


Osprey Cross Country Teams Boast Regional Rankings
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Oct. 17, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- In the latest USTFCCCA Top 15 Regional Cross Country rankings both North Florida teams appeared on the South Region chart with the Osprey men climbing to 9th and the women entering the poll in 13th.

The men's team moved up a spot following a seventh place finish against the competitive field at Alabama's Crimson Classic over the weekend. The Ospreys competed with many other regionally ranked programs on the course that will host the NCAA South Regional meet. Nick Morken led a strong performance by the squad that featured several PR finishes.

On the women's side, UNF returned to the regional ranking list and earned the program's highest ranking since the start of the 2016 season. North Florida posted a ninth place finish over the weekend at Alabama's Crimson Classic, a competition that included several regionally ranked teams. Senior Eden Meyer continued her strong campaign collecting a runner-up individual finish to lead the team.

UNF next competes at the ASUN Championship meet on Oct. 28 in Kennesaw, Ga.

Coaches Comments:
"It was nice to see the women move into 13th, coming off of a very solid meet at Alabama. Eden ran great at the front of the pack. Claudia Jalon continues to transition to life at the University of North Florida, while Audrey Carpenter ran the best race of her collegiate career. She is looking awesome.

"For the men, Nick Morken continues to run great followed by Tyler Stahl. The 1-2 punch is great leadership for our team. Noah Perkins is a very consistent three man. Fynn Timm has grown into a very consistent and solid runner in cross country, and Rob Leverone continues to build off of his third-place finish in the 10K at ASUN Outdoor Championship.

"Things are going very well, but the even more exciting thing is that every one of our kids are looking forward and preparing for the next race. The whole season is built around feeling great the next few weeks." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg


Strong Runs Power Men's Cross Country to 7th at Competitive Alabama Meet
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Oct. 13, 2017
Nick Morken sprints for finish
line at 2017 Crimson Classic

Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Harry Pritchett Running Park)
COURSE REPORT: Against a field that included 12 regionally-ranked teams, the North Florida men's cross country squad earned a 7th-place showing in the University of Alabama hosted Crimson Classic on Friday morning at the Harry Pritchett Running Park. The Ospreys strong performance featured five runners clocking new personal records on the layout that will host the upcoming NCAA South Regional Championship.

FINISH LINE
- For the second consecutive meet, junior Nick Morken led the way for UNF finishing ninth over the 8k course in a PR of 24:38. Morken has now posted three straight Top 10 finishes.
- Senior Tyler Stahl joined Morken in the Top 20, earning a 19th-place finish with a personal best 25;08 while sophomore Noah Perkins tallied his own PR with a run of 25:18 to finish 26th.
- Junior Fynn Timm ran a 25:36 (49th) and sophomore Rob Leverone, who posted a PR 25:41 (56th), rounded out the scoring runs for the Ospreys.
- Freshmen Leo Queyrou also notched a PR (26:15)

THOUGHTS FROM COACH PIGG...
"It was a good day for our guys at a meet that had many top teams. It was nice to see where we stack up. The men were in a great battle that saw us compete very well but come up just a little short of where we hoped to finish. Many of the guys ran their best collegiate races. Nick Morken ran very strong to lead the group. Nick continues to get stronger and is realizing how good he can be in cross country. Tyler Stahl has been extremely consistent senior leader who always performs well and ran a tough race today. Noah Perkins is also racing so well right now and it was nice to see him get a PR in a run very similar to his practice runs. The top three guys did a great job of working together during the race. Fynn and Rob rounded out the Top 5 and they both just keep getting better. We are right on track to perform our best at the ASUN Championships."

WHAT'S NEXT
North Florida heads to the ASUN Championship meet on Oct. 28 in Kennesaw, Ga.. The Ospreys are the defending conference champions.

UNF Results
9. Nick Morken (24:38.8) -- PR
19. Tyler Stahl (25:08.4) -- PR
26. Noah Perkins (25:18.6) -- PR
49. Fynn Timm (25:36.0)
56. Rob Leverone (25:41.5) -- PR
91. Leo Queyrou (26:15.4) -- PR
126. Anderson Bobo (26:49.3)
163. Jared Vazquez (27:32.4)


Nick Morken Named ASUN Runner of the Week
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Sept. 27, 2017

LakePoint, Ga. - North Florida's Nick Morken grabbed his first career ASUN Conference Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week honor, the league office announced on Wednesday.

Finishing in seventh place at the Mt. Dew Invitational, which featured four ASUN teams and four regionally ranked squads, Morken guided the Ospreys to a first-place team finish as the senior from Niceville, Fla., posted the fastest ASUN time of the meet in 25:14.5. It marked the third-fastest time in his UNF career as he paced a trio of UNF runners in the top-10 and all five scoring runners in the top-15.

Thoughts from Coach Pigg:
"Nick did a great job of working together with the group to keep the pack tight. He accelerated some over the last part to finish as our top runner, but his biggest contribution was leadership for the team, He is very talented and fit. He is a team-first guy and that unselfish attitude makes the guys around him better."

ASUN Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week - Sept. 27th
Nick Morken, North Florida
Senior | Niceville, Fla. | Sport Management

- First Career ASUN Conference Runner of the Week Award; eighth all-time for UNF
- Top ASUN finisher at Mt. Dew Invitational, coming in seventh place
- Finished the 8K race in 25:14.5; his third fastest time in his career
- Paced a trio of UNF runners in the top-10 as Ospreys won team title
- Returns to the course on Oct. 13th at the Crimson Classic


Men's Cross Country Tops Field at UF-Hosted Mt. Dew Invitational
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Sept. 23, 2017

Gainesville, Fla. (Mark Bostick Golf Course)
COURSE REPORT: The North Florida men's cross country squad topped a competitive field Saturday morning at Florida's Mt. Dew Invitational as all five UNF scoring runners finished in the Top 15.

FINISH LINE
- Junior Nick Morken led Top 5 pack of Ospreys, earning a 7th place finish in a time of 25:14.
- Senior Tyler Stahl, making his season debut for UNF, also posted a Top 10 performance as he finished 9th in an 8k PR time of 25:19. Sophomore Noah Perkins finished just behind Stahl, racing an 8k PR time of 25:31 to finish 10th.
- Junior Fynn Timm was 13th in a time of 25:47, while sophomore Rob Leverone rounded out the scoring runners for UNF with an 8k PR of 25:51 to finish 15th
- Freshmen Leo Queyrou and Jared Vazquez made their collegiate 8k debuts in the event... Sophomore Anderson Bobo recorded a personal collegiate best in the 8k layout

THOUGHTS FROM COACH PIGG...
"It is always exciting to come to the UF meet. It is consistently a good field and we typically run well. I am very proud of how well the guys ran today. It was nice to beat Florida and some other regionally ranked teams along with some ASUN squads. I like the progress we are making and we are focused on just getting back to work."

WHAT'S NEXT
North Florida continues its season at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Oct. 13. The event will be run on the same course that hosts the NCAA South Region meet in November.


Men's Cross Country Bests Florida Gators in Season Opening Event
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Sept. 7, 2017

Jacksonville, Fla. (Hayt Golf Learning Center Course)
COURSE REPORT: Led by the trio of Nick Morken, Fynn Timm and Noah Perkins, the North Florida men's cross country team defeated Florida and Jacksonville at the UNF XC Invitational. Overall, the Ospreys had the top four finishers and six of the Top 10.

- Sophomore Noah Perkins (15:33.75) and juniors Fynn Timm (15:33.78) and Nick Morken (15:33.84) crossed the finish line side-by-side to sweep the podium finishes for the event. Sophomore Rob Leverone (15:45) was the fourth-place finisher
- Senior Bradley Langenberg earned an 8th place finish (16:00) in his final home cross country event, while freshman Leo Queyrou finished 10th (16:05) in his UNF debut.
- Anderson Bobo and Jared Vazquez both also made their UNF debuts in the race

THOUGHTS FROM THE TOP...
"Our team as a whole has worked very hard since last cross country season. Their dedication should yield some nice results this season. Nick, Noah and Fynn are talented runners and are all very hungry for success. Our team chemistry is outstanding and we are looking to achieve some great things this year. This was a very good start for the Ospreys. We were also happy to be able to get the meet in with Hurricane Irma looming. We want to give a big 'Thank You' to Ervin Lewis and his staff for helping us pull off this meet two days earlier than expected. We also really appreciate everyone who came out to support the meet." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

WHAT'S NEXT
North Florida continues its season at the Mt. Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., on Sept. 23.

UNF Results
1. Noah Perkins - 15;33.75
2. Fynn Timm - 15:33.78
3. Nick Morken - 15:33.84
4. Rob Leverone - 15:45.62
8. Bradley Langenberg - 16:00.08
10. Leo Queyrou - 16:05.46
11. Anderson Bobo - 16:06.48
13. Matthew Cashin - 16;15.97 (Unattached)
19. Jared Vazquez - 17:04.75
20. Rayford James - 17:23.04
22 Sem Sultanov - 17:51.12

Dual Meet Scores
UNF def. Florida: 18-39
UNF def. Jacksonville: 15-50
Florida def. Jacksonville: 15-50


Nick Morken Tabbed Preseason Runner of the Year in ASUN
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8/28/2017

LakePoint, Ga. - The 2017 ASUN Conference Men's Cross Country Preseason Runner of the Year and Coaches Poll were announced by the league office with Lipscomb edging out North Florida in the preseason rankings. Defending ASUN Championship Medalist, Nick Morken of North Florida claimed the accolade as ASUN Preseason Men's Runner of the Year.

"Nick has had a very good summer," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "While he is the the defending individual conference champion, I know his main goal is for the team to do well. Nick will take care of his duties and work to make the people around him better."

Spearheaded by Morken, North Florida brings back five runners from last year's championship squad including Tyler Stahl and Noah Perkins who both earned top-10 finishes.

Lipscomb collected six of the eight first-place votes while North Florida snatched two after winning the 2016 ASUN Championship title with a team score of 22. The Bisons return a multitude of top runners including Juan Gonzalez and Jacob Poyner after redshirting last season.

"Preseason rankings simply motivate our teams to work even a little harder," added Pigg.

Preseason ASUN Men's Cross Country Coaches Poll
1. Lipscomb (6) -- 62 points
2. North Florida (2) -- 58 points
3. FGCU -- 47 points
4. USC Upstate -- 37 points
5. Kennesaw State -- 30 points
T6. NJIT -- 22 points
T6. Stetson -- 22 points
8. Jacksonville -- 10 points


Middle Distance Runners Pace Men's Track & Field at Black & Gold Challenge
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3/18/2017

Orlando, Fla. (UCF Track & Field Complex)

The Short Story: The North Florida men's track and field team had a strong showing Saturday at the outdoor season opener, UCF Black & Gold Challenge. The Ospreys dominated the 1500m and had several other impressive outings in the season debut.

THE FINISH LINE
- The Ospreys had the top five finishers in the 1500m and placed seven runners in the Top 10. Brad Hort led the charge picking up the event time with a PR of 3:56. Fynn Timm (3:57), Noah Perkins (3:58), Sem Sultanov (4:01) and Michael Damato (4:03) rounded out the group of five at the front of the pack. Freshman Rob Leverone finished 8th while Anderson Bobo made his collegiate track debut in 10th.
- Nick Morken finished runner-up to pace a group of six UNF competitors in the 800m. Morken finished in a time of 1:50 with Chris Robin running a PR (1:53.27) and Rayford James (1:53.56) joining him in the Top 10
- Senior sprinter Desmond Robb got his final outdoor campaign started with a pair of solid performances in the 200m (22.36 / 10th) and 400m (49.77 / 10th). Freshman George Escobar made his collegiate debut in the 400m

ON THE FIELD
- After sitting out last outdoor season, senior pole vaulter Shelton McLean made an impressive return for the Ospreys, winning the event with a PR vault of 4.95m (16-02.75)
- Junior standout Bobby Harris got his outdoor campaign started with a third-place finish in the high jump posting a mark of 2.08m (6-09.75)

QUOTABLE
"We competed very well. The last couple of weeks we worked on recovery from the indoor season and went back to work. This meet was a good start to getting back into the routine of racing. They were a little tired from the workload of the past couple weeks. The performances provide us great optimism as we we look forward to the upcoming meets on the schedule." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

UP NEXT:
North Florida hosts their annual home event, the Sheraton UNF Spring Break Invitational, next weekend on Mar. 24-25.


Distance Runners Carry Ospreys to 2nd-Place Finish at ASUN Indoors
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2/24/2017

Winston-Salem, N.C. (JDL Fast Track)
The Short Story: The North Florida men's track and field team finished runner-up at the ASUN Indoor Championships for the third consecutive year behind the dominating performances from UNF's distance corps. Nick Morken topped the list of strong performances earning ASUN Most Valuable Performer honor for points scored.

THE FINISH LINE
- Morken, competing in the challenging triple that included the 800m, Mile and 3000m, earned the gold medal in the Mile (4:12) to open Saturday's competition followed by a silver medal performance in the 800m (1:53), which marked a PR for the junior standout
- Teammate Tyler Stahl also attempted the triple finishing third in both the Mile and 5000m on day two of the ASUN Championships
- Senior sprinter Desmond Robb collected points in both the 200m (6th) and 400m (2nd), highlighted by a PR and School record clocking in the 400m with a time of 49.35
- In the Mile, Fynn Timm finished fourth to give Ospreys another scoring time, while Rayford James (3rd), Cristian Acuna (5th) and Chris Robin (6th) netted points for UNF in the 800m
- Brad Hort was runner-up in the 5000m following a PR of 14:39 with Stahl (14:58) and freshman Noah Perkins (15:01.13), finishing third and fourth, respectively
- North Florida closed the competition with a second-place showing in the 4x400m as the quartet of George Escobar, Chris Robin, Rayford James and Desmond Robb posted a time of 3:22.80

ON THE FIELD
- The Ospreys did not have any athletes compete in field events at the ASUN Indoor Championship on Saturday

QUOTABLE...
"I am very proud of our men's team for battling to earn a second-place team finish. They were very efficient and produced many quality races from a small team. They were really able to get the job done. Nick Morken was outstanding in placing in Top 3 in all three races including winning the Mile. It was exciting to see him recognized as the top point scorer in the conference. Tyler Stahl also had a very strong performance on the weekend posting two third-place finishes and a runner-up. Those two guys really did a good job in three events and leading the scoring for the team. Desmond Robb continued his consistent performances on a busy day that saw him earn a second and sixth place individual finishes along with anchoring the 4x400m relay runner-up showing. Fynn Timm followed up his anchor leg of the DMR last night with a solid Mile. We had a strong 800m effort with four runners in the Top 6 and Brad Hort had a good runner-up finish in the 5000m. The guys lined up well and competed in every event. It was a nice finish for our team and we are looking forward to hopefully having Bobby Harris participate in the NCAA Indoor Championships in a couple weeks." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

UP NEXT:
The North Florida will hopefully be sending high jumper Bobby Harris to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on Mar. 9-11. The rest of the Osprey squad will open Outdoor Track season Mar. 18 in Orlando at the UCF Black & Gold Challenge.

Men's Results

200m
6. Desmond Robb - 22.55

400m
2. Desmond Robb - 49.35 PR

800m
2. Nick Morken - 1:53.07 PR
4. Rayford James - 1:55.32 PR
5. Cristian Acuna - 1:55.71
6. Chris Robin - 1:56.26
10. Constantine Stathis - 2:00.41

Mile
1. Nick Morken - 4:12.92
3. Tyler Stahl - 4:13.30
4. Fynn Timm - 4;14.44 PR
9. Sem Sultanov - 4:22.43 PR

5000m
2. Brad Hort - 14:39.84 PR
3. Tyler Stahl - 14:58.85 PR
4. Noah Perkins - 15:01.13 PR
7. Michael Damato - 15:19.74
13. Rob Leverone - 15:57.16 PR

4x400m Relay
2. 3:22.80 (George Escobar, Chris Robin, Rayford James, Desmond Robb)

TEAM STANDINGS (Final)
1. Kennesaw State (223)
2. North Florida (109)
3. Lipscomb (98)
4. NJIT (47)
5. USC Upstate (40)


Two Titles and Dominating 3000m Performance Highlight Day 1 of ASUN Indoor Championship
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2/23/2017

Winston-Salem, N.C. (JDL Fast Track)
The Short Story: The North Florida men's track and field team nabbed a pair of event titles and had four of the top six finishers in the 3000m on opening day competition at the ASUN Indoor Championship.

THE FINISH LINE
- Tyler Stahl was second (8:18.62) and Nick Morken finished third (8:22.89) in leading a strong performance for the Ospreys in the 3000m. Brad Hort (8:24.46) and Noah Perkins (8:34.24) rounded out the group of scoring runners for UNF, finishing 4th and 6th, respectively.
- In the DMR, the Osprey quartet of Sem Sultanov, George Escobar, Cristian Acuna and Fynn Timm outraced the field to claim the title in a time of 10:09.97

ON THE FIELD
- Junior Bobby Harris continued his dominance in the high jump, winning his fourth career ASUN title with a mark of 2.10m (6-10.75). His winning jump bested the rest of the field by 9.5 inches

QUOTABLE...
"We don't have a large roster but everyone who competed did a great job today. I am super proud of the entire group. It was awesome to lead off the day by placing four runners in the Top 6 of the 3000m. All four guys ran PR times in a terrific team run. Bobby Harris just continued to shine in the high jump picking up another conference title. I was really proud of our DMR as freshman Sem Sultanov ran a swift opening leg and handed off to another freshman George Escobar. Cristian Acuna did well in the third leg and then Fynn Timm brought it home with a great anchor leg in the Mile." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

UP NEXT:
The North Florida men's track and field concludes competition in the ASUN Championships on Friday (Feb. 24) at the JDL Fast Track facility.

Men's Results

3000m
2. Tyler Stahl - 8:18.62 PR
3. Nick Morken - 8:22.89 PR
4. Brad Hort - 8:24.46 PR
6. Noah Perkins - 8:34.24

DMR
1. 10:09.97 (Sem Sultanov/George Escobar/Cristian Acuna/Fynn Timm)

High Jump
1. Bobby Harris - 2.10m (6-10.75)

TEAM STANDINGS (Thru Day 1)
1. Kennesaw State (64)
2. North Florida (39)
3. Lipscomb (20)
4. NJIT (16)
5. USC Upstate (13)


Tyler Stahl Leads Strong Men's Track Showing at Samford Invitational
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2/10/2017

Birmingham, Ala. (Birmingham Crossplex)
The Short Story: The North Florida men's track and field team saw solid performances by several athletes Friday in the Samford Invitational highlighted by a PR mile showing from Tyler Stahl.

THE FINISH LINE
- Stahl led a trio of Osprey PR performances in the Mile racing a time of 4:07.53 to finish runner-up in the event. His time marked a nine second improvement on his previous best time. Freshman Noah Perkins (4:16.40) made his debut in the event while fellow freshman Sem Sultanov (4:24.15) clocked his collegiate best time.
- Standout Nick Morken led a sweep of the top 4 spots in the 800m, posting a time of 1:54.04. Constantine Stathis (1:54.66), Chris Robin (1:55.10) and Cristian Acuna (1:55.42) all had personal best times in following Morken to the finish line. Rayford James and McKenna Lasher also finished in the Top 10 for the event.
- Fynn Timm ran a PR 8:32.14 to finish 3rd in the 3000m
- Desmond Robb was close to posting a pair of personal bests in the 200m and 400m

ON THE FIELD
- The Ospreys did not have any athletes compete in field events at the Samford Invitational

QUOTABLE...
"We had some strong performances in several events. Tyler Stahl ran a very impressive race in the Mile and recorded a strong personal best. The 800m group ran a strong race as did the 3000m guys. Desmond Robb had another consistent meet, which is what we've come to expect from him. Overall it was a nice meet and a great trip. We are excited and looking forward to competing at the ASUN Championships in a couple weeks." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

UP NEXT:
The North Florida men's track and field team heads to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the ASUN Championships on Feb. 23-24 at the JDL Fast Track facility.

Men's Results

200m
22. Desmond Robb (22.65)

400m
7. Desmond Robb (49.47)
16. George Escobar (50.68) -- collegiate debut

800m
1. Nick Morken (1:54.04)
2. Constantine Stathis (1:54.66) -- PR
3. Chris Robin (1:55.10) -- PR
4. Cristian Acuna (1:55.42) -- PR
6. Rayford James (1:55.68)
9. McKenna Lasher (1:56.17) -- PR

Mile
2. Tyler Stahl (4:07.53) -- PR
10. Noah Perkins (4:16.40) -- debut
15. Sem Sultanov (4:24.15) -- PR

3000m
3. Fynn Timm (8:32.14) -- PR
4. Brad Hort (8:34.10) -- PR
5. Rob Leverone (8:34.59) -- PR

4x400m Relay
7. 3:25.34


Nick Morken Competes in Camel City Elite Mile Race
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2/4/2017

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- North Florida junior standout Nick Morken ran a 4:09.49 en route to finishing 8th in the Camel City Invitational Elite Mile race Saturday afternoon at JDL Fast Track.

Competing against several professional runners along with some of the nation's top milers, Morken posted a personal best by three seconds while participating in the showcase final race of the Camel City Invitational. In addition, his performance is the fastest mile time in the ASUN this season.

"This was a great experience for Nick to be in such a high level competition," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "He ran a quick race and with the NCAA conversion it should end up being a 4:05.9. He is getting close to peak indoor condition and we are looking forward to more quality indoor races. Next week he will run in the 800m at Birmingham."

Morken and the rest of the Osprey track and field program will return to action next Friday (Feb. 9) at the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Ala.

Camel City Elite Mile Results:
1. Nate Brannen (Unattached) -- 4:00.29
2. Andy Bayer (Nike) -- 4:00.46
3. Neil Gourley (Virginia Tech) -- 4:01.14
4. Vincent Ciattei (Virginia Tech) -- 4:06.23
5. Chad Noelle (Asics Furman Elite) -- 4:07.27
6. Leo Manzano (Hoka One One) -- 4:08.75
7. Robert Heppenstall (Wake Forest) -- 4:08.87
8. NICK MORKEN (UNF) -- 4:09.49 PR
9. Simon Holden (Wake Forest) -- 4:11.95


Pair of School Records Highlight Strong Opening at Clemson Invitational for Men's Track & Field
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1/15/2017

Clemson, S.C. (Clemson Indoor Track Facility) The Short Story: The North Florida men's track and field team had a strong performance in their indoor season opener on Saturday, breaking a pair of school records and winning a event title. Senior sprinter Desmond Robb blitzed to personal and school record times in the 200m and 400m, while senior Brad Hort clocked a personal best in claiming the 5000m crown. Junior standout Bobby Harris posted a runner-up showing in the high jump.

THE FINISH LINE
- Similar to the women's team, UNF got things rolling early on the track as Brad Hort earned the 5000m title in a personal record time of 14:46.19 in the day's first race.
- Desmond Robb continued his record-setting career racing to a school and personal best time in both the 200m (22.30) and 400m (49.45)
- In the Mile, juniors Nick Morken (4:15.66) and Tyler Stahl (4:16.34) finished second and third, respectively, with Stahl clocking a personal record
- Morken led a strong group of performers in the 800m, finishing fifth (1:54.42), just ahead of junior teammate Rayford James in seventh in a personal best time of 1:55.42
- Freshman Noah Perkins had a strong collegiate debut with a runner-up finish in the 3000m (8:31.76)

ON THE FIELD
- Junior standout Bobby Harris earned a second-place finish in the high jump after a mark of 2.10m (6-10.75)

QUOTABLE
"This meet was a great experience for our young team to have the opportunity to compete against several strong programs including Clemson, South Carolina and Florida State. We saw some really great performances against a competitive field, which is a great way to open the indoor season. Overall, it was a good track meet for the Ospreys." – UNF head coach Jeff Pigg

Full Men's Results

200m
8. Desmond Robb (22.30) - PR/School Record

400m
6. Desmond Robb (49.45) - PR/School Record

800m
5. Nick Morken (1:54.42)
7. Rayford James (1:55.42) - PR
9. McKenna Lasher (1:56.63) - collegiate debut
10. Constantine Stathis (1:57.13)
15. Chris Robin (2:03.98)

Mile
2. Nick Morken (4:15.66)
3. Tyler Stahl (4:16.34) - PR
5. Fynn Timm (4:24.94)
9. Sem Sultanov (4:31.80) - collegiate debut

3000m
2. Noah Perkins (8:31.76) - collegiate debut
3. Rob Leverone (8:51.42) - collegiate debut

5000m
1. Brad Hort (14:46.19) - PR
2. Manny Velasquez (15:25.78) - event debut

High Jump
2. Bobby Harris (2.10m / 6-10.75)

Pole Vault
2. Shelton McLean (4.65m / 15-03) - Unattached

4x400m Relay
5. 3:22.84 (Desmond Robb, Cristian Acuna, McKenna Lasher, Rayford James)


Track & Field Open Indoor Season at JDL College Kickoff Classic
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12/2/2016

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The North Florida track and field teams will send a select group of athletes to the JDL College Kickoff Classic on Saturday at the JDL Fast Track Facility.

North Florida is coming off one of the most successful cross country seasons in program history with the men's team claiming the first ASUN Conference team title for the Ospreys along with junior Nick Morken winning the individual title. Meanwhile, a young and talented women's team posted a third-place showing behind the record-setting, championship winning run by junior standout Eden Meyer.

Saturday's meet will provide the Osprey's jumpers and sprinters an opportunity to get some competition under their belt before the holiday break. Those expecting to compete for UNF include high jumpers Bobby Harris, Alyssa Young and Alexandra Ellis along with hurdlers Hallie Grimes and Tianna Hearn and mulit-sprint runner Desmond Robb.

Following the JDL Classic, North Florida's next indoor meet will be the Camel City Invitational on Feb. 3-4 at this same JDL Fast Track.

QUOTABLE...
"The JDL Kickoff classic a great way to get our track season rolling. For our upperclassmen, who are the nucleus of our indoor team, we think it is important to get in a competition to bring closure to a great fall for our program. All of the track kids have worked hard and we are looking forward to competing." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg


Men's Cross Country Finishes 9th at NCAA South Regional
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11/11/2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Led by redshirt-sophmore Nick Morken's Top 20 finish, the North Florida men's cross country team capped off their 2016 campaign with a ninth-place showing in the NCAA South Region meet at Apalachee Regional Park.

Morken, who earned NCAA All-Region honors with his 17th-place performance, covered the 10k course in a personal best time of 30:57.6. He was not only UNF's top finishing runner but also the fastest finisher among ASUN competitors.

Junior Tyler Stahl improved his personal best time by nearly 40 seconds en route to finishing 33rd at 31:39 followed by senior Brad Hort in 43rd with a personal record 31:48, a 10-second improvement. Freshman Noah Perkins (32:35) and senior Michael Damato (32:40) rounded out the Osprey's scoring runners, finishing in 74th and 80th spots, respectively.

Ole Miss claimed the team title with 46 points, while MTSU was second with 61 including having the top two individual finishers. UNF totalled 235 points.

Notable
- 6 of the 7 UNF runners posted PR times
- Junior Nick Morken along with the freshmen trio of Noah Perkins, Jon Grandpierre and Rob Leverone all made their collegiate 10k debuts
- North Florida's 235 point total marked the best score in the program's Division I history
- Ospreys have finished among Top 10 in two of the last three NCAA South Regionals

Quotable...
"The men finished right about where we were expected to heading into the race coming off our ASUN Conference championship. We had a good day. Nick Morken had a fantastic run finishing in the Top 20, which earns him All-Region honors and is a great way to follow-up his conference title. Additionally, I thought all the guys running 10,000m for the first time this year did a great job. Tyler Stahl just continues to improve and finished the year with maybe the best cross country race of his career. Brad Hort ran solid in his final cross country race and I thought Mike (Damato) continued to battle the entire race despite not having his best stuff, but that competitiveness has been a trademark for his entire career. I was really proud of all three of our freshmen in running their first 10K races.This wrapped up a very good cross country season and sets us up for hopefully a good track season." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

UNF Runners
17) Nick Morken - 30:57.6 PR
33) Tyler Stahl - 31:39.6 PR
43) Brad Hort - 31:48.8 PR
74) Noah Perkins - 32:35.4 PR
80) Michael Damato - 32:40.9
86) Jon Grandpierre - 32:46.2 PR
129) Rob Leverone - 33:51.3 PR


Cross Country Heads to NCAA South Regional
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11/10/2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The North Florida cross country teams continue postseason competition Friday morning in the NCAA South Regional hosted by Florida State at Apalachee Regional Park.

The South Regional is the first stage in the NCAA National Championship competition. The women's 6k race is set to start at 8:30 a.m. followed at 9:30 a.m. by the men's 10k.

The Ospreys are coming off solid performances at the ASUN Championships on Oct. 29. The UNF men claimed the program's first conference title with a dominating performance that featured four of the top five finshers including individual winner, Nick Morken. On the women's side, Eden Meyer set a course record en route to earning the individual crown and leading the team to a third-place showing. At last year's South Regional, the men posted a program best 12th place finish while the women finished 15th.

The field at the South Regional features all of the current USTFCCCA Top 15 ranked squads in the region. Several teams are also ranked in the Top 30 nationally including Ole Miss (No. 14 - women/No. 11 - men) and MTSU (No. 26 - men).

The top two finishing teams get an automatic bid to the National Championship race on Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. In addition, the top four individual finishers not on a qualifying team also advance to the finals.

Coach Pigg says...
"While they do regional rankings all season, now is when it matters. This is our chance to race a lot of big name schools head to head to see where we stack up against them."

Men
"Fresh off of the ASUN Championship, we are eager to get back at it. These guys have worked hard this year and are looking forward to the opportunity to race some top notch competition at the Regional Championship. I feel like we have momentum here late in the year, so it will be exciting to see how we stack up. Basically, the team trains year-round for the late October and November portion of the season, so hopefully they will perform well. Our men have a strong pack and that should yield a good team finish. While Nick Morken was our front runner at the ASUN meet, we have strength in numbers with Brad Hort, Michael Damato and Tyler Stahl all running very well now. In their case working together will be paramount."

Women
"Coming off of their best race of the season at the ASUN Championship, the women head to the Regional meet led by ASUN Champion Eden Meyer. I think all of the girls running at Regional are very excited to race again. Our season has been pointed towards running well late in the year, and that time is now. We competed well at the ASUN and expect to have that same level of competition on Friday. Grace Meyer, a 2nd team All-ASUN performer, is running well along with Audrey Carpenter, and the freshmen duo of Emma Grantges and Brittany Lang. It will be a good experience for our young team."

Race Distance
"This will be our team's first time running at these distances this season. In the men's 10,000 meters, strength and maturity along with consistent preparation are key factors in being good. For the women in the 6k, it's similar to 5K so a 6K late in the season is where preparation and desire can carry them the extra 1000 meters."

Participating Teams
Women (36 teams): UNF, South Florida, Miami, FIU, FAU, Tennessee Tech, Mercer, FGCU, Belmont, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Georgia, Alabama, UT-Martin, MTSU, Kennesaw State, Jacksonville, Alabama State, Stetson, Southern Miss, UCF, UAB, Georgia State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Memphis, Lipscomb, ETSU, Georgia Southern, Samford, Chattanooga, South Alabama, Tennessee

Men (31 teams): UNF, Georgia, MTSU, FAU, Jacksonville, Lipscomb, South Florida, FGCU, Chattanooga, UT-Martin, Austin Peay, FIU, Alabama, Belmont, Auburn, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Tennessee, Mercer, Samford, ETSU, Kennesaw State, Tennessee Tech, Georgia Tech, Stetson, Troy, Miami, Mississippi State, Florida


Morken, Hort Pace Men's Cross Country to First ASUN Title
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10/29/2016

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Nick Morken and Brad Hort crossed the finish line at the 2016 ASUN Conference Men's Cross Country Championship in first and second as North Florida earned its first-ever conference title. Morken & Hort are the first teammates to take the top-two spots at the conference meet since 2008.

Morken becomes the second-straight Osprey to earn ASUN Runner of the Year with his first-place performance as North Florida dethroned three-time defending ASUN Champions, Lipscomb, by 39 points. The Ospreys posted a dominant performance with four runners in the top-five, which hasn't been accomplished since 1988 at the ASUN Championship as Michael Damato & Tyler Stahl joined Morken & Hort. Noah Perkins earned ASUN Freshman of the Year honors as he finished 10th.

In addition, head coach Jeff Pigg was named the ASUN Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year.

North Florida will have two weeks off from competiton before returning to action at the NCAA South Regional on Nov. 11 in Tallahassee, Fla.

Notable
- UNF's final point total of 22 marked the best in program history, eclipsing last year's 45 point effort
- Morken becomes just second Osprey to earn XC Runner of the Year honor
- Perkins is the second consecutive UNF runner to claim Freshman of the Year award
- Pigg becomes first UNF mentor to garner the ASUN Coach of the Year accolade for Men's XC
- Damato ends his XC career with three All-ASUN first-team honors
- 5 Osprey runners collected 8k-XC PR times including Morken's event winning pace

Quotable...
"It has been a long journey to this point of winning an ASUN Championship. Lipscomb has been a dominant team, so this is a day that these guys will never forget. They prepared well, stayed focused and executed a great race allowing them to win together. Nick Morken knows how to win. After he broke his ankle last year training on the trails, he was hungry to be back with the team. He trained very hard this summer building his aerobic base. He truly loves the Mile, but he is a great competitor and was not going to let his team down. In his senior season, Brad Hort, ran the best race of his career. He trained alot this summer and was determined to finish his cross country career on a high note. He was strong and confident and wasn't going to be denied today. Mike Damato, another senior, was laser-focused on closing his ASUN cross country career with a team title. Mike and I have been through alot together and it was so great to see him and his boys close out with such a dominating team performance. Mike works hard and competes with passion. Tyler continues to develop into a very good cross country runner. He had a great offseason and was well prepared to help us keep a lead pack of four runners, which ultimately fueled our championship performance. Freshman of the Year performer, Noah Perkins, ran a very good race. He was patient early and did not let up when fatigue set in on him during the race. When he saw junior Manny Velasquez struggling with an injury, he dug down and ran up into a strong fifth position for the team. He led a strong contingent of freshmen including Rob Leverone and Jon Grandpierre, who rounded out our Top 7." -- Head coach Jeff Pigg

-On Coach of Year Award
"Anything of real value doesn't come without hard work and a great group of support. It was a super effort from Coach Krupa, Coach Cooke and Coach McFarlane to make this a successful cross country season." -- Pigg

UNF Finishes
1) Nick Morken - 25:00.48 PR
2) Brad Hort - 25:08.67
4) Michael Damato - 25:22.96
5) Tyler Stahl - 25:31.36 PR
10) Noah Perkins - 25:37.04 PR
16) Jon Grandpierre - 25:49.71 PR
21) Rob Leverone - 26:10.43 PR
38) Fynn Timm - 27:15.44
49) Manny Velasquez - 28:21.31

Team Scores
1) North Florida - 22
2) Lipscomb - 61
3) FGCU - 68
4) USC Upstate - 114
5) Kennesaw State - 141
6) Stetson - 172
7) NJIT - 179
8) Jacksonville - 217

ASUN First Team All-Conference
Nick Morken, North Florida - ASUN Runner of the Year
Brad Hort, North Florida
Luka Ndungu, FGCU
Michael Damato, North Florida
Tyler Stahl, North Florida
Sam Remington, Lipscomb
Ronny Greenup, FGCU

ASUN Second Team All-Conference
Dorian Jones, USC Upstate
Joseph Beery, Stetson
Noah Perkins, North Florida
Kyle Johnson, Lipscomb
William Kachman, Lipscomb
Carlin Berryhill, FGCU
Theodore Kountourogiannis, USC Upstate

ASUN Conference All-Freshman Team
Noah Perkins, North Florida - ASUN Freshman of the Year
Kyle Johnson, Lipscomb
William Kachman, Lipscomb
Carlin Berryhill, FGCU
Brent Leber, Lipscomb


Cross Country Returns to Competition Friday Night at USF Invitational
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10/13/2016

TAMPA, Fla. -- After nearly a month off from race competition due to schedule changes and unexpected weather, the North Florida cross country teams make their return Friday in the USF Invitational scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at The Claw Golf Course.

The last race run by the Ospreys was the Mt. Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., on Sept. 24. The UNF men's team, currently ranked 13th in the USTFCCCA South Region, posted a runner-up finish in the event led by junior Nick Morken's second-place showing after covering the 8k layout in 25:30. On the women's side, junior Eden Meyer clocked a 5k PR time of 17:16 to finish third overall and guide the Ospreys to a fourth-place team finish.

The USF Invitational marks the final tune-up race for North Florida before the ASUN Championship on Oct. 29 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Quotable:
"We are looking forward to having an opportunity to race. After the hurricane led us to cancelling our participation in last weekend's FSU meet, we are eager to compete and see the progress that has been made since our last meet at the University of Florida. Both teams have been working very hard to prepare for the championship portion of the season, which begins with the ASUN meet at the end of the month. We are expecting to have most of the runners in the competition." -- Head Coach Jeff Pigg


Five Top 20 Runners Lead Men's Cross Country to Runner-Up Finish
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9/24/2016

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With three runners among the Top 10 finishers and all five scoring runners in the Top 20, the North Florida men's cross country squad earned a runner-up finish Saturday morning in the Mt. Dew Invitational at UF's Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Junior Nick Morken paced the strong showing finishing in second with a time of 25:30. Senior Brad Hort made his season debut running a time of 25:42 to finish sixth while junior Manny Velasquez was 10th in a time of 26:05. Freshman Noah Perkins (26:33.03) and senior Michael Damato (26:33.64) rounded out the group of scoring runners for the Ospreys after placing 16th and 17th, respectively.

Coach Pigg says...
"The men were right where they should be based on the work we have done. Nick Morken is strong and it is good to have him back running cross country after redshirting last year. Brad Hort kicked of his senior season with a very good opener as well. He prepared well this summer. Manny Velasquez also ran well after missing last year's cross country season with a late season injury. He is following up his strong outdoor track season with more quality running. Freshman Noah Perkins ran the first 8k of his career and handled the distance well finishing with senior Mike Damato, who looked under control and will certainly progress well throughout the season."

Notes:
*A trio of Osprey newcomers made their collegiate 8k debuts including Perkins, Rob Leverone and Sem Sultanov
*UP NEXT: Next race for UNF is Oct. 7 at the FSU Invitational

UNF Finishes:
2) Nick Morken -- 25;30.26
6) Brad Hort -- 25:42.21
10) Manny Velasquez -- 26:05.09
16) Noah Perkins -- 26:33.03 PR
17) Michael Damato -- 26;33.64
22) Rob Leverone -- 26:50.77 PR
23) Tyler Stahl -- 26:53.01
28) Fynn Timm -- 27:27.11
38) Bradley Langenberg -- 28:03.30
43) Sem Sultanov -- 28:16.52 PR

Team Scores:
1. Florida (22)
2. UNF (49)
3. FGCU (73)
4. Miami (121)
5. USF (133)
6. FAU (172)
7. Jacksonville (211)
8. FIU (216)
9. Stetson (240)
10. Florida A&M (289)


Men's Cross Country Places Five Among Top 10 Finishers
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9/10/2016

JACKSONVILLE -- Led by Nick Morken's second-place finish, the North Florida men's cross country squad opened their 2016 campaign placing five runners among the Top 10 finishers in the UNF XC Invitational hosted on the golf course at the Hayt Golf Learning Center.

Osprey Finishers - 5K
2) Nick Morken - 15:54.63
5) Tyler Stahl - 16:03.70
6) Manny Velasquez - 16:04
7) Noah Perkins - 16:07.70
10) Bradley Langenberg - 16:21.84
13) Rayford James (Unattached) - 16;29.82
16) Wesley Norton (Unattached) - 16:48.21
21) Anderson Bobo (Unattached) - 17:04.39
24) Sem Sultanov (Unattached) - 17:19.30

Coach Pigg says...
"We've been working really hard. The first meet we wanted to come out with sort of a plan. We feel like running together we win so that was our plan for today and the whole season. It was our focus from the start today. We stayed together and then we allowed them to speed up the last mile. It was a good start. It was a nice morning and the guys were excited to get out and race. It was a really fun way to kickoff the season with so many people on the course. We probably had about 4,000 people all around the course and we don't have the chance to run in front of those kinds of crowds very often in cross country. It was nice to see the guys run good. Nick finished strong which is what we expected and it was nice to have him back after missing last year after getting hurt training on the trails. We have several other guys we can put in the lineup as the season moves along, but it was a really good start."


Osprey XC Teams Tabbed 2nd in ASUN Preseason Polls
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8/25/2016

LAKE POINT, Ga. -- The North Florida men's and women's cross country teams were picked to finish second in the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's head coaches and announced by the conference office.

Both programs posted runner-up finishes at the ASUN Championships last season and return valuable members from those squads. The men's team will be led by standouts Nick Morken, Michael Damato and Fynn Timm while the junior Eden Meyer paces a women's squad that welcomes some key newcomers.

"The preseason poll is usually a reflection of the way your team finished the previous year," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "We are looking forward to another competitive cross country season. The kids have been working hard over the summer and our focused on continue to improve. We are excited about the start of the season and having a chance to race for a championship at the end of October."

The Ospreys open their cross country campaign with their home event, the UNF XC Invitational, on Sept. 10 at the Hayt Golf Learning Center course. The ASUN Championship is set for Oct. 29 in Spartanburg, S.C.


Nick Morken Wraps Up Season with 1500m at NCAATF East Prelim
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5/26/2016

JACKSONVILLE -- North Florida track and field sophomore Nick Morken wrapped up his impressive season Thursday evening, running a time of 3:49.56 in the 1500m event of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminary at UNF's Hodges Stadium.

Morken finished seventh in his heat and 36th overall for the event. This marked his second consecutive appearance at the East Preliminary in the 1500m.

"Nick had a really solid season," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "He ran a good race but didn't have the finish he hoped for. Tonight's race was a great opportunity for him to grow, develop and learn a few things about running a tactical race. This was definitely another good racing experience for him."

The NCAA East Preliminary, the opening round of the NCAA Championships, continues at Hodges Stadium on Friday and Saturday.


OspreyXCTF Men Win Four Events, Finish Runner-Up at ASunTF Championships
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5/14/2016

JACKSONVILLE -- Four individual event titles highlight the North Florida men's track and field team's runner-up performance Saturday in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship meet at Hodges Stadium.

Sophomore standout Nick Morken collected gold medals in the both the 1500m and 5000m, while senior Desmond Robb was the champion in the 400m and sophomore Bobby Harris continued his stellar season earning the event title in the high jump, with a conference championship meet record mark of 2.17m (7-01.50).

The Ospreys dominated the middle distances on Saturday as UNF finished second (Rayford James), third (Taylor Sumagpang) and fourth (Constantine Stathis) in the 800m, and followed that up with a first and third (Tyler Stahl) in the 1500m and a first, second (Manny Velasquez), fourth (Brad Hort) and sixth (Michael Damato) in the 5000m.

"It was a great team effort by our men's squad to earn a second-place finish," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Nick looked really strong in his races and appears ready for the NCAA Regional. Bobby continues to jump extremely well for us and I was excited for Desmond to win the 400m. I thought the guys we sent out in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m all did great jobs and ran the races we expected from them."

Robb picked up a second medal on Saturday night finishing third in the 200m, while Maurice Sapp scored points with a fifth-place finish in the 400m and Kyle Crompton was fifth in the 400m hurdles. In addition, Robb and Sapp led the 4x400m relay team, which also included Sumagpang and Cristian Acuna, to a silver medal finish.

"I was proud of the effort from our team," Pigg added. "I also want to be sure to thank the Atlantic Sun for allowing us to host the championships because it is something we look forward to and take pride in hosting. I thought our entire Athletic Department staff along with the group of officials and volunteers put on another outstanding event."

A trio of North Florida men's track and field athletes are expected to qualify for the upcoming NCAA East Preliminary on May 26-28 at Hodges Stadium. Those with current qualifying marks/times include: Nick Morken (1500m), Fynn Timm (3000m Steeplechase) and Bobby Harris (High Jump).


OspreyXCTF Welcomes ASunTF Championship to Hodges Stadium this Weekend
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5/12/2016

JACKSONVILLE -- The North Florida Track & Field teams will host the 2016 Atlantic Sun Conference Outdoor Championships on Friday and Saturday at Hodges Stadium. Competition is slated to begin both days at 9 a.m.with multi-events, while individual field events start at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and running begins at 7 p.m.

The Ospreys, who are hosting the outdoor championship for the eighth consecutive year, look to continue their strong spring performances. The UNF men finished runner-up last year and feature six athletes that enter the weekend as the top league performer in their event. Meanwhile, the women's team looks to build on last year's fourth-place showing led by a trio of conference event leaders in the lineup.

"We are very excited to host the ASUN Championships," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Hosting the championship is a lot of work, but our athletic department works very well together. From the facilities crew headed by Ervin Lewis to the track set up done by Coach Krupa to Coach Cooke coordinating the officials, we have all the key areas covered and our entire staff chips in to get everything prepared. Additionally, it is an opportunity for our team to get involved with the behind the scenes set up of the meet. I think they really enjoy contributing to the success of the meet."

The UNF men enter the weekend following some record setting performances this season. Desmond Robb and Maurice Sapp are ranked first and second in the conference standings for the 400m while Nick Morken, Taylor Sumapang and Rayford James top the 800m list that includes six Ospreys in the Top 10. Morken and Tyler Stahl are listed one-two in the 1500m while Brad Hort tops the 10,000m chart and Fynn Timm leads the conference in the 3,000m Steeplechase. Bobby Harris, the ASun Indoor Champion in the high jump, comes into the outdoor championship as the top rated performer in the event.

"The men's team looks to follow up on a strong 2nd place finish indoors," added Pigg. "Retuning indoor champion, Bobby Harris, looks to continue jumping well this outdoor season. Desmond Robb leads the conference in the 400 and is ready to run well too. Senior Maurice Sapp has been running very well this year and looks to cap off his career with a great 400 meter race. Senior Taylor Sumagpang recently ran a PR in the 800 and lead our 800-meter entries. Coming off of redshirting indoors, Nick Morken is the conference leader in 1500 and will opt to run the 5000 instead of 800, in which he is also the leader. Tyler Stahl and Morken lead the 1500 where we also have four of the top seven times. Fynn Timm tops the steeplechase followed by Manny Velasquez, who is coming off a PR last weekend along with Bradley Langenberg, who finished 3rd last year and is looking for another strong race."

On the women's side, sophomore Hallie Grimes owns the fastest 400m time of the season in the conference while sophomore high jumper, Alyssa Young, and senior pole vaulter Megan Walker are also the top perfomers in their events.

"For the women, Megan Walker leads ASun and is hoping to follow-up her indoor championship in the pole vault," Pigg said. "Alyssa Young is jumping really well outdoors as well in the high jump and is coming off a big PR. Vanessa Philbert, who has been plagued by some leg pain in the last few weeks, looks to follow up her indoor win in the 800m and enters the weekend rested, fresh and ready to run well. In the steeplechase, Kelly Hensley and Audrey Carpenter are looking to score strong finishes. Tayler Johnson has been running well this track season and is looking to finish off the season with a great race. Eden and Grace Meyer come into the 10,000m event in scoring positions and have looked very good in practice."

Tickets for the ASun Championship are available for purchase at the ticket window at Hodges Stadium. Admission prices are $7 for a single day pass and $10 for the weekend. Youth, Senior Citizen, Military and UNF Faculty/Staff tickets are $5 single day and $8 for the weekend. Children 2 and under are free.

Live scoring updates for the ASun Championship will be available online at Halfimiletiming.com. Saturday's schedule begins at 9 a.m. with multi-event competition followed by individual field events starting at 3 p.m. and running events set to start at 5 p.m.


Men's Track Has Strong Outing at Tom Jones Memorial Invitational
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4/22/2016

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida men's track and field team posted several strong performances Friday in the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational hosted by the University of Florida at Percy Beard Track.

Sophomore standout Nick Morken recorded the fastest 800m of the season, racing to a time of 1:50. He paced a group of Osprey runners finishing among the Top 10 in the event followed by Taylor Sumagpang (1:52), Rayford James (1:53) and Constantine Stathis (1:53).

Sprinters Desmond Robb and Maurice Sapp notched strong times in the 400m including a PR by Sapp in 48.73. In addition, the trio of Logan Poteet, Fynn Timm and Wesley Norton all clocked solid times in the 1,500m.

 
UNF Results
 
400m
26. Desmond Robb (48.23)
28. Maurice Sapp (48.73) - PR

400m Hurdles
21. Kyle Crompton (55.22)
800m
3. Nick Morken (1:50.78)
5. Taylor Sumagpang (1:52.41)
6. Rayford James (1:53.16)
7. Constantine Stathis (1:53.97)
11. Tyler Stahl (1:55.20)
13. Cristian Acuna (1:56.02)
14. Chris Robin (1:56.84)
1500m
9. Logan Poteet (3:54.00)
13. Fynn Timm (3;55.72)
13. Wesley Norton (3:55.72) - PR
3000m Steeplechase
2. Manny Velasquez (9:31.81)
4. Bradley Langenberg (9:42.37)
6. Nicholas Gonzalez (10:18.56)

Morken & Harris Sweep Weekly Men's ASunTF Honors
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4/6/2016

MACON, Ga. - North Florida's Nick Morken and Bobby Harris combined to sweep the Atlantic Sun Men's Outdoor Track and Field weekly awards after their performances at the Florida Relays, announced Wednesday by the league office.

"It's awesome to see both Nick and Bobby recognized as the performers of the week for the Atlantic Sun," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Nick had a great race in the 1500m at the Florida relays with his time of 3:42.56. That is equivalent to a sub four-minute mile as a standard conversion is adding 17 seconds to 1500m times. Nick not only ran fast, but also beat some very good competitors en route to running his PR. Bobby continues to jump higher as the season goes on. Placing third at Florida Relays saw him out-jumping some very strong competitors. We look forward to the rest of the year and particularly the championship phase of our season, where we hope to see both of these young men having continued success."

Morken put together a dominant performance in the 1500 meter race, setting a new school and personal record with a time of 3:42.56. That time eclipsed the previous UNF record by over three seconds and currently stands as the best time in the A-Sun and the sixth-best in the NCAA East Region.

Harris also broke records of his own over the weekend, setting a new mark in the high jump competition. The sophomore became the first Osprey competitor to eclipse the seven foot mark with a leap of 2.15 meters. Harris finished third in the event and his performance ranks as the eighth-best height in the NCAA East Region this season.


Pair of School Records Highlight Men's Track Efforts
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4/1/2016

JACKSONVILLE -- North Florida men's track and field standouts Nick Morken and Fynn Timm broke a pair of school records in leading a strong day of performances. The Ospreys had athletes competing Friday at both the Florida Relays in Gainesville and the Spikes Classic in Daytona Beach.

Competing at the prestigious Florida Relays, Morken, a sophomore, bettered the 13-year old 1,500m record by three seconds, posting a personal best time of 3:42.56. Timm, a freshman, raced to a time of 8:55.98 in the 3,000m Steeplechase topping the previous mark set in 1987 by almost three seconds.

"Nick and Fynn both had outstanding performances," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Both of their times should have them solidly qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary. Nick's time in the 1,500m is equivalent to running a sub-four minute mile and was a career best for him by over three seconds. Fynn's time was seven seconds faster than he'd ever ran as well."

Sophomore Tyler Stahl ran a personal best 3:50 in the 1,500m and sophomore Brad Hort recorded a 15:08.79 in the 5000m on Thursday night.

At the Spikes Classic hosted by Embry-Riddle, freshman Logan Poteet ran a personal record 3:53 in the 1,500m to finish second in the event while Wesley Norton was fifth in the event at 3:59.40. Manny Velasquez won the 3,000m Steeplechase in his outdoor debut with a time of 9:36.36 while junior Michael Damato finished third in 14:48.11 in the 5,000m. Senior Desmond Robb qualified for the 200m finals after sprinting to a time of 21.81 in the prelims.

Competition at both the Florida Relays and Spikes Classic concludes with a final day of events on Saturday.


Morken Named ASunTF Men's Track Athlete of the Week
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3/30/2016

MACON, Ga. - North Florida's Nick Morken returned to the track for the first time this season, while Kennesaw State's Andre Dorsey continued his dominant start to the outdoor season, both claiming Atlantic Sun Men's Track and Field weekly awards, announced Wednesday by the league office.

Nick Morken competed in his first action of the year after missing the cross country and indoor track and field seasons for the Ospreys, and made an immediate impact for UNF, winning the 1500m title at the UNF Spring Break Invitational. The sophomore's time of 3:46.04 ranks as the fastest in the A-Sun by five seconds and is currently the ninth-best time for the event in the NCAA.

"It was a great opening meet for Nick," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "After redshirting indoors and cross country, he is very hungry to compete. He is also very well prepared and it should be a great year for him outdoors."

Morken is next scheduled to compete in the 1,500m event this Friday (Apr. 1) at the prestigious Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla


OspreyXCTF Men Start Outdoor Season Strong at UNF Spring Break Invitational
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3/25/2016

JACKSONVILLE -- Personal records and event titles highlighted a strong opening to the outdoor season for the North Florida men's track and field team Friday in the UNF Spring Break Invitational at Hodges Stadium. The Ospreys claimed three event titles in their annual home event.

Sophomore Bobby Harris got his outdoor season started well by claiming the high jump event title with a jump of 6-11.75, which equals his program record mark. Sophomore Nick Morken made a splash in his season debut posting a personal best time of 3:46 to earn the 1,500m title. Freshman Fynn Timm rounded out the event champions by earning the 3,000m Steeplechase crown in a time of 9:08.

Other standout performances in the outdoor opener included Desmond Robb's near personal best 48.10 in the 400m, Tyler Stahl's personal best 3:51 in the 1,500m and personal records for both Taylor Sumapang (1:53.04) and Rayford James (1:53.70) in the 800m.

"We were fortunate with the weather to be able to get today's competition in," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "It's exciting to see such a large group of athletes at the meet and even more exciting to see our team have some outstanding performances to start the outdoor season. We have a lot of kids on our team that have worked hard to build a solid base and want to continue raising the level and I felt like we saw some great things today.

"Bobby had a tremendous start to the outdoor season and that jump really positions him well moving forward in the season. I was really proud of how Nick came out and had such a strong performance. He felt great and looked great and it was a nice way to get the season started for him as well. Finn had an impressive debut in the steeplechase and our crew in the 800m was really solid. It was exciting to see Desmond run a time that was almost right at where he ended last season, which says a lot about the work he has put in."

North Florida makes a quick return to action as the Ospreys will compete in the Florida Relays next weekend (Apr. 1-2) in Gainesville. Fla.


Week 2 South Region Rankings: MXC Moves to 4th, WXC is 12th
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9/21/2015

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The USTFCCCA released its weekly Regional Cross Country Top 15 rankings with both North Florida teams remaining listed as the Osprey men moved up one spot to fourth and the women's squad was 12th.

The men's team is coming off a strong showing over the weekend where they edged then No. 3 Florida to claim the title at the Mt. Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. Junior Michael Damato finished second and paced a group of five runners to finish in the Top 11. Damato posted a personal best time of 24:57 on the 8k course.

"We had a very solid weekend," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Mike Damato, Brad Hort and Tyler Bennett continue to run very well at the top of our lineup. Tyler Stahl was our fourth runner and he is progressing very well. Senior Justin Bryan rounded out our Top 5 with a good run closely followed by Manuel Velasquez. The top guys ran well for us in Gainesville. We rested freshman Logan Poteet, who was our fourth runner in the home opener. We are also progressing slowly with sophomore Nick Morken. He will be an impact runner for us, but being a mile based runner, we are being careful with him so that he will be his strongest at the end of the season. Freshman Fynn Timm ran the meet as a tempo to get a feel for competition and now we will begin to really pick up his paces as we move into the competion phase of the season. Our team culture is good, the depth is strong and our guys are working together very well."

On the women's side, sophomore Eden Meyer continues to lead an improving group of runners. The Ospreys earned a runner-up finish over the weekend at the Mt. Dew Invitational placing a trio of runners in the Top 16.

"Eden ran another very good race," added Pigg. "Lauren Gonzalez is closing in on the next level and freshman Audrey Carpenter has been running very well. Vanessa Philbert, normally an 800m runner in track, was in our Top 5 after posting a huge PR. It will be exciting to see how fast she can run a 5K by the end of the season."

Both North Florida teams will have a week off from competition before returning to action on Oct. 3 at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky.


NCAATF East Prelim Action Concludes at UNF's Hodges Stadium
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5/30/2015

JACKSONVILLE -- The North Florida track and field program concluded its hosting duties for another successful and exciting NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminary on Saturday highlighted by 18 new Hodges Stadium facility records and featuring a school record four Osprey qualifiers.

The quartet of UNF athletes qualified for this year's East Prelim included a trio of freshmen -- Nick Morken (800m), Bobby Harris (High Jump) and Eden Meyer (10,000m) -- along with senior standout Elle Baker (3,000m Steeplechase). The group of four Osprey participants equalled the program benchmark established in 2011.

The 2015 event marked the second consecutive season that Hodges Stadium has served as the host site for the opening round of the NCAA Championships. North Florida will host the prelim again next season (2016) and also hosted the event in 2012.

"Having the opportunity to host an NCAA event on your home track is a tremendous honor," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "The UNF Athletics staff always does a great job of hosting events and this year was no different. We also appreciate the support from the University administration, our sponsors and supporters around the city and the Jacksonville community. I really feel like having four of our athletes participating in the event this year created a new level of excitement for our program and we are already looking forward to next year's prelim."


Morken & Meyer Make NCAATF Debuts at East Prelim
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5/28/2015

JACKSONVILLE -- North Florida freshmen standouts Nick Morken and Eden Meyer capped off their stellar debut collegiate campaigns with solid showings on the opening day of competition in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminary at Hodges Stadium.

Morken, a Niceville, Fla, native, finished seventh in his heat (37th overall) of the 800m in the third fastest time of his career running a time of 1:49.90. He ended his rookie season as one of the most decorated runners in program history having claimed the Most Outstanding Freshman Performer in both the Atlantic Sun Indoor and Outdoor Championships along with posting the league's fastest outdoor times in both the 800m and 1,500m this season.

A Jacksonville native, Meyer concluded her inagural season with a 31st place finish in the 10,000m, running a time of 35:30.61. Her time was the third fastest of her career.

"It was a great year for both of these athletes," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "We are so proud of what they did and accomplished. They are definitely part of a solid foundation to build our program on. Eden and Nick are focused and driven to do what they need to do to get back here and continue to grow and improve next year. Overall I'm extremely excited of how they both competed tonight. Having them compete at the NCAA Prelim on our home track also makes this event much more fun for our team, staff and fans."

North Florida's program record tying four athlete contingency continues competition at the NCAA East Preliminary on Friday with senior Elle Baker running in the 3000m steeplechase (8:50 p.m.) and freshman Bobby Harris competing in the high jump (5:00 p.m).


DOUBLE FEATURE: Morken Tabbed ASunOTF Outstanding Freshman Male Performer
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5/26/2015

MACON, Ga. -- North Florida's Nick Morken was named the 2015 Atlantic Sun Most Outstanding Freshman Male Performer for Outdoor Track after another standout performance at the recently concluded conference championship meet.

Morken shined in his first A-Sun Outdoor Championship and was a unanimous vote for the honor. The Niceville, Fla. native used late kicks in the 800-meter and 1500-meter events to earn two golds at the Championship. Morken, the highest-scoring freshman of the A-Sun Championship, also helped lead the 4x400m relay squad to a fourth place finish. The UNF freshman is just the second Osprey to win the award in program history after David Shepherd won in 2011. He is also the first UNF male to claim both the indoor and outdoor outstanding perfomer honors.

"Nick has made such a nice transition to college running," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Obviously he is talented and his hard work and clean living yield consistent top notch results. He is a wholesome kid with a nose for the finish line. I am thrilled to coach him here at UNF."

Morken qualified in the 800m to participate in the NCAA East Preliminary this week at Hodges Stadium. He will be joined by teammates Bobby Harris (High Jump), Eden Meyer (10,000m) and Elle Baker (3,000m Steeplechase) in attempting to advance to the NCAA Championship meet in Eugene, Ore.


Osprey Quartet Qualifies for NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminary
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5/21/2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A quartet of North Florida track and field student-athletes qualified to compete in the upcoming NCAA East Preliminary at UNF's Hodges Stadium. The Ospreys earning bids included senior Elle Baker and freshmen Nick Morken, Eden Meyer and Bobby Harris.

The four qualifiers matches the North Florida Division I program record set in 2011, with the two men's participants marking a UNF program record.

"With us being the host of the event, having more athletes qualified brings an even greater level of excitement to the program and Hodges Stadium," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "We have four very deserving athletes and also had several other athletes that were hopeful of qualifying. We are looking forward to next week and looking forward to a rewarding meet."

Baker will be making a return to the NCAA East Prelim in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, after participating in the event last year. Baker qualified for the steeplechase with a personal record of 10:19.69, the 36th ranked time in the East Region this year.

"Elle qualified last year and has been on a mission all year long to come back and run even better," added Pigg.

Meyer, a native of Jacksonville, looks to wrap up her solid freshman campaign by competing in the 10,000m. She is coming off a gold medal performance in the event at last week's Atlantic Sun Championship and posted the region's 36th fastest time (34:47.11) in earning her spot in the NCAA Prelims.

The highest scoring male freshman at last week's Atlantic Sun Championship, Morken hopes to cap his stellar rookie season with a strong performance in the 800m. Morken's personal best time of 1:49.35 allowed him to post the East Region's 43rd best time.

Harris enters the NCAA Prelim as the highest ranked Osprey, posting the East Region's 13th best mark of 2.13m (6'11.75") en route to claiming the Atlantic Sun gold medal in the high jump. The mark was not only a personal best but also a school record height.

"I'm very proud of each of our freshman qualifiers," Pigg said. "All three of them have had outstanding seasons and worked hard to earn this opportunity."

The NCAA East Preliminary Round will take place May 28-30. Further information regarding the meet and ticket purchasing can be found at the above link.


Morken's Double Gold, Harris & Collins Earn Jump Titles to Lead Osprey Men to 2nd at #ASunTF Championships
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5/16/2015

JACKSONVILLE -- The North Florida men's track and field team posted the program's best finish at the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships on Saturday at Hodges Stadium, finishing second with 139 points.

Freshman sensation Nick Morken tallied a pair of gold medal performances in the 800m and 1,500m. Fellow freshman Bobby Harris claimed the high jump title with a school record mark and sophomore Caleb Collins earned the triple jump crown to lead a strong performance for the Ospreys.

In addition to the four event titles, UNF also saw sprinters Jacoby Hadden (100m & 200m), Desmond Robb (400m) and Kyle Crompton (400m Hurdles) all post silver medal performances on Saturday. The Osprey's 4x100m relay team also raced to a silver medal finish in a school record time of 40.94.

Other athletes scoring points for North Florida on Saturday included: Josh Tracey finishing 5th in 200m, Taylor Sumapang was 4th in the 800m, Manny Velasquez (4th) and Tyler Stahl (5th) in the 1500m and Stephen Krupa finished 5th in high jump.

"First of all want to say how proud I am of the UNF Athletic staff for again putting on a tremendous meet," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "We got lots of compliments from the other coaching staffs and also saw some great performances. I am especially proud of how our kids competed and it felt like everytime they were presenting medals we had a North Florida kid on the podium, so that was exciting to be a part of. We had a lot of kids run their best career times or best times of the season or beat people they weren't supposed to, which allowed them to finish the year on a high note and head come feeling good."

"Nick Morken was outstanding again," Pigg added. "The real story with him is that he's not only a great runner with a good kick, but he's an even better kid that works hard and does all the right things and that's what really makes him good. He brings it every day and won some really exciting races against strong competitors. Bobby's high jump performance was fantastic and really helped him move up the regional standings list so that's exciting to see. Winning the event over the league's best jumpers is really hard to put into words how good he was today. A lot of our sprinters did a great job today but especially the efforts of Jacoby and Desmond. I am really proud of them. It was also awesome to see Caleb come into the triple jump as the favorite and then take care of his business and win the event because sometimes that is a hard role to fill."

"Overall, just really proud of the second place finish because that's a reflection of a true team effort. We needed everybody's contributions to achieve that goal and we got strong performances across the board from all the different areas so that was a pretty cool thing to see."

North Florida as a team has completed competition but several individual athletes are in the hunt to participate in the NCAA East Preliminary on May 28-30 at Hodges Stadium and will find out their fates early this coming week.


OspreyXCTF Hosting ASunTF Championships This Weekend
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5/14/2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For the seventh consecutive year, North Florida's Hodges Stadium and the UNF track and field teams will serve as the hosts for the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Track and Field Championships beginning Friday morning.

Competition in the two-day event will not only crown team champions for both men and women but also decide individual conference title holders in 42 events. Friday's competition begins at 9 a.m. with four events in the women's heptathlon followed at 9:30 a.m. by half of the men's decathlon events. Individual field events will begin at 3:30 p.m. with running events scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. On Saturday, the remainder of the decathlon events will begin at 9 a.m. followed by the conclusion of heptathlon competition at 10 a.m. Field events will begin at 3 p.m. and running finals will start at 5 p.m.

"It is always a tremendous honor and opportunity for us to host the Atlantic Sun Championship," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "It is a great deal of work to host, but our staff works well together. It is also fantastic that our athletes have the chance to compete at home for conference titles. The Hodges Stadium track facility is top notch, which allows all the athletes to perform at their highest level."

The UNF men's team enters the championship meet with high hopes. The Ospreys are looking to build on their program best second-place finish at the indoor championships earlier this year. Freshman standout Nick Morken owns the fastest time in the conference in a pair of events heading into the weekend with hopes of qualifying for NCAA Regionals. North Florida's high jump duo of Bobby Harris and Stephen Krupa look to battle for a title while Caleb Collins has been a consistent threat in the horizontal jumps this year. A quartet of Osprey sprinters will also challenge for event championships in the meet.

Seniors Elle Baker and Alessandra Valdes look to pace the Ospreys in their quest for a top finish in the event. Both runners have posted times at the top or near the top in the conference this year. In addition, freshman long distancer Eden Meyer looks to continue her solid debut season. High jumpers Emily Miller and Alyssa Young hope to be in the hunt for a crown while the Osprey sprinting and middle distance corps will provide the squad with ample opportunities for success.

"Both teams have had good outdoor seasons," added Pigg. "We are excited about competing this weekend and are focused on performing at a high level and battling for championships."

North Florida is completing its 10th season as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference this year. The Osprey men's best A-Sun outdoor track finish was fourth last season while the women's top showing was a runner-up finish in 2011. The UNF women also own a trio of third-place finishes at the event.

Following the Atlantic Sun Championship, Hodges Stadium will serve as the host facility for the NCAA East Preliminary, the opening round of the NCAA Championships, on May 28-30.


East Region Preview Features Strong Showing by OspreyXCTF
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5/9/2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida track and field teams wrapped up their pre-championship meet schedule with some solid performances at the East Region Preview held on Friday at UNF's Hodges Stadium.

A new school record in the 4x100m relay and another strong 800m showing by freshman Nick Morken paced the men's performances while Emily Miller collected a pair of personal bests in the 100m hurdles and high jump and sprinting duo Vernetia Irving and Raneisha Lamar flashed some speed to highlight the women's side.

"I thought we had another solid home meet performance," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "It was good to have the team out on the track and getting in final preparations for the upcoming championship portion of the schedule. We look to be rounding into good form."

On the men's side, Nick Morken claimed an event title in the 800m with a time of 1:49.42, just slightly slower than his school record clocking. In the same race, Taylor Sumapang posted a season best mark with teammates Rayford James and Cristian Acuna providing solid depth in the field.

"Nick ran another great race," added Pigg. "He backed up his school record 800 with a win in a tough field. It was a little different kind of race for him with a faster pace early, but he still had a strong finsh. I was really proud of him."

In the 1500m, Brad Hort bettered his personal record by two seconds finishing with a time of 3:56.96. Manny Velasquez also tallied a personal best with a 9:29.54 in winning the 3000m Steeplechase.

The tandem of Marques Burgman, Caleb Collins, Josh Tracey and Jacoby Hadden continued to lower the school record in the 4x100m relay posting a time of 41.06. Their performance led a strong showing by the sprinters.

In the field events, Bobby Harris and Stephen Krupa continued their consistent efforts in the high jump posting marks of 2.04m and 1.99m, respectively. Additionally, Collins notched a season best mark in the long jump (6.95m) and Shelton McLean got close to a personal best with a mark of 4.55m in the pole vault.

"Coach Krupa really has our jumpers in good position heading into the Atlantic Sun Championships," Pigg said. "Shelton is also jumping really well right now."

For the women, Irving and Lamar both tallied impressive marks in both the 100m and 200m. Both runners clocked what would have been personal records in the 100 but a tailwind of 4.3 prevented them from being allowed as records. Irving raced to a time of 11.89 and Lamar finished in a time of 12.01. In the 200, Irving ran a 25.08 and Lamar was just behind her in 25.32. The duo also helped lead the women's 4x100m relay squad to a time of 46.76 in their first race of the season.

"Vernetia ran another strong 100 and just keeps getting better," Pigg stated. "I thought the women's 4x100 ran really well in their season debut."

The middle distance races also produced some good showings as Alessandra Valdes had another strong 1500m performance finishing second at 4:28.04. Alexis Irwin collected a season best 4:36.50 in finishing just behind Valdes while several other Osprey runners ended the event in the Top 10. Vanessa Philbert finished second in the 800m at 2:11.14 with Dagmar Olsen running a 2:14.01 to finish fourth.

Pole vaulter Megan Walker posted a season best valult of 3.75m in leading a solid performances by the UNF field athletes. Emily Miller had a personal best in the high jump with a leap of 1.68m to finish third while also earning a personal best with a time of 15.07 in the 100m hurdles. Alyssa Young finished fifth in the high jump with a mark of 1.63m.

"Megan is looking strong in the pole vault and appears to be the favorite heading into the A-Sun Championship this week," Pigg continued. "She had some very good attempts in the meet and with a new pole she is looking forward to some even better jumps. It was great to see Emily get back into her jumping rhythm and with Alyssa, they give us a good pairing for the conference meet."

North Florida has little time to rest at the Atlantic Sun Championships are scheduled to for this Friday-Saturday (May 15-16) at Hodges Stadium.


Morken Claims @ASunXCTF Athlete of the Week Honor
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4/29/2015

MACON, Ga. -- North Florida freshman runner Nick Morken added another first to the list of his accomplishments in his strong debut season as he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Week.

Morken, a native of Niceville, Fla., blazed to a UNF program record time of 1:49.35 in the 800m at a highly competitive Tom Jones Memorial meet over the weekend. His time was the fastest in the Atlantic Sun this season by over four seconds and also ranked as the 34th fastest time in the NCAA East Region.

"It is great to see Nick named the Atlantic Sun Runner of the Week," said Osprey head coach Jeff Pigg. "His 800 was an outstanding race, especially for a freshman. Nick's work is paying off and his talent is really shining through."

In addition to owning the fastest 800m time in the conference this season, Morken has posted the league's top 1500m time.

Morken and the rest of his North Florida teammates will next return to competition on Friday, May 8 in the UNF East Region Preview at Hodges Stadium.


Track & Field Shines at Competitive Tom Jones Memorial Meet
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4/25/2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida track and field teams posted several personal records and marquee performances against a highly competitive field at the Tom Jones Memorial Meet hosted by the University of Florida.

"We had a solid meet," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "It was a world class event featuring many world class athletes. Not only did the field include top caliber collegiate programs like Miami, Kentucky and Florida but also several Olympic Federation groups representing Denmark, Ireland, Jamacia, England and others. Overall, it was a good opportunity for our kids to see how world class athletes compete. While at times intimidating, the meet was also very inspiring and yielded some very good performances."

On the men's side, freshman Nick Morken again posted one of the highlight performances
finishing second in the 800m with a school-record time of 1:49.35. His time also ranks 37th on the NCAA East Regional list for this season and leads the Atlantic Sun by four seconds.

"Nick ran another great race," added Pigg. "The field was loaded with top notch competitors but he kept his poise and ran an outstanding race finishing just behind the winner by .02."

A trio of UNF runners claimed the top three spots in 3000m steeplechase led by Bradley Langenberg's personal record time of 9:45.55, a 35 second improvement on his previous best. Freshman Manny Velasquez also notched a personal best with a time of 9:47.58. Both times rank among the league leaders for the season.

In the pole vault, Shelton McLean collected a new personal record with a vault of 15'01.75" (2.02m).

Continuing her preparation for the steeplechase, senior Elle Baker provided the highlight of the day on the women's side after winning the 1500m with a personal best and ASun season best time of 4:24.38.

"Elle is on a mission to qualify for the NCAA Championships," Pigg stated. "She ran a magnificent race today and cut 10 seconds off her personal record. She is doing a great job of taking advantage of every opportunity to compete and improve."

Alessandra Valdes, who is rounding into top form as the season winds down, led a solid group of UNF performers in the 800m, finishing with a season best time of 2:10.25, just slightly off her personal best time of 2:09.

In the women's steeplechase Kelly Hensley continues to lower her personal record int eh event after running 11:26.03, a time that also ranks fifth in the ASUN listings this year.

Field event performances included Alyssa Young's high jump mark of 5'05" (1.65m), while Taylor Hollander, a member of UNF's ASun Championship Tennis team, made her debut for the Ospreys in track with a javelin throw of 107'03" (32.68m).

North Florida will take the week off from competition to participate in Spring semester exams before returning to action on Friday, May 8 in the UNF East Region Preview at Hodges Stadium.


OspreyXCTF Has Strong Showing at Mt. SAC Relays
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4/19/2015

WALNUT, Calif. -- The North Florida track and field team had some strong performances as several of UNF's top middle and long distance runners traveled across the country to compete in America's premiere track event, the Mt. Sac Relays, over the weekend.

"This experience really helps UNF continue to develop our team," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "The travel, the level of competition and the race experience are all parts of helping our program grow."

Freshman standout Nick Morken was one of the bright spots earning a third-place finish in the 1500m with a personal best time of 3:46.36. His performance was the 17th fastest time in the event this season in the NCAA East Region.

"Nick raced very well against an extremely talented field," Pigg stated. "He handled all of the elements very well and came away with a new very impressive personal record."
Senior Elle Baker had a solid performance for the women's side after racing to a near personal best time of 10:31.73 in the 3000m steeplechase. Eden Meyer finished 12th in the women's 10,000m, posting a time of 34:47.11 in her first collegiate 10k.

"Elle ran a very strong race that saw her lead for a portion," added Pigg. "Until the final 600 meters, she was on pace for a big personal best but faded slightly to finish. This race taught her a lot about how to race in the upcoming East Regional championship. Eden was amazing running in the fastest heat mostly against professional runners. Her time puts her close the Top 35 in the East Region and was outstanding for her first race at that distance."

Sophomore Michael Damato posted a time of 14:48.11 in the 5000m and Brad Hort ran a 31:28.84 in his first collegiate 10,000m for the Osprey men. For the women, Alessandra Valdes and Alexis Irwin ran in the 1500m and posted times of 4:29.68 and 4:36.77, respectively. Irwin's time marked a season best.

In addition to Mt. Sac, a pair of Ospreys competed in the Cal State LA Twilight meet with Bobby Harris winning the high jump event with a mark of 2.07m (6'09.50"), just shy of his personal best. Stephen Krupa earned a seventh place showing with jump of 1.92m (6'03.50").


School Records Fall for Men at North Florida Twilight
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4/12/2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida men's track and field team posted many quality performances highlighted by six school records at the UNF Twilight at Hodges Stadium.

The recordbreakers included freshman Nick Morken in the 800m (1:50.53), Marques Burgman in the 110m Hurdles (14.66), Jacoby Hadden in the 200m (21.71), Desmond Robb in 400m (48.06) and Caleb Collins in the triple jump with a mark of 14.82 m (48'7.5"). The relay team of Hadden, Burgman, Collins and Josh Tracey combined to set a new record for the 4x100m finishing in a time of 41.47.

In addition, other solid performances were contributed by Kyle Crompton in the 400m hurdles with a time of 53.56 and Michael Damato in both the 1500m (3:57.28) and 3000m steeplechase (9:36.98). The Bryan brothers, Justin and Jeremy, both ran strong in the 5000m finishing at 15:11.58 and 15:25.58, respectively. Hadden nearly picked up a second school record racing to a wind-assisted 10.67 with teammate Josh Tracey close behind at 10.77.

In the field events, Shelton McLean collected the third best mark in the ASun this season for the pole vault with a vault of 4.55 m (14'11"), while Collins added a leap of 6.91m (22'08") in the long jump.

Quotes from Head Coach Jeff Pigg:
"Nick (Morken) continues to run very well. He posted a record run in the 800m which is an event that has been very strong for UNF for over 20 years. He works hard, lives clean and is very humble and is also very talented. His marks of 3:47 (1500m) and 1:50 (800m) are both conference leaders and very good especially for a freshman"

"Desmond was able to break a school record and post the league's fastest time of the season. I know he really wanted to break 48.00 but that time will come very soon. He keeps improving and has helped to push teammate Cecil Rolle every day in training."

"Caleb continues to stretch out the school record in the triple jump. His mark this weekend was the second longest in the conference this season. He has been working hard with Coach Krupa to refine his jumping."

"It was nice to see Justin and Jeremy Bryan running together in the 5000. Jeremy accompanied his brother instead of running his usual 1500m race. They worked together nicely with Justin finishing second overall.


Split Squad Boasts Strong Showings for Men's Track
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4/5/2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sending participants to both the Florida Relays and Embry-Riddle Spikes Classic, the North Florida men's track and field team collected several strong performances over the weekend.

In Gainesville at the Florida Relays, freshman Nick Morken continued his stellar debut season winning his heat and posting a personal best time of 3:47 in the 1500m. Junior teammate Jeremy Bryan also finished solid in the event at 3:55.

"Nick had another great race," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "He just continues to get better and lead our team."

High jumpers Bobby Harris and Stephen Krupa finished first and third, respectively, in helping lead the Ospreys at the Spikes Classic. Harris notched a mark of 2.00m (6'6.75") and Krupa finished with a best of 1.95m (6'04.75").

Desmond Robb matched the school outdoor record with a time of 21.73 in the 200m and was close to a school best with a 48.35 in the 400m. Jacoby Hadden boasted solid runs in the 200m (21.75) and 400m (49.20). In the 800m, Rayford James and Kevin Heron both posted runs of 1:54.

Caleb Collins set a new program outdoor record in the triple jump with a leap of 14.37m (47'01.75").

"This weekend was a great opportunity for us to get a lot of guys the chance to compete," added Pigg. "Our team continues to improve and have great performances as we move through the season. We are looking forward to competing again this Friday at home."

North Florida will next host the UNF Twilight meet this Friday (Mar. 10).


Event Title and School Records Highlight Men's Outdoor Opener
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3/28/2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida men's track and field team saw several school records fall including back-to-back record setting performances in the high jump as the Ospreys posted a solid showing in their outdoor season opener, the UNF Spring Break Invitational at Hodges Stadium.

In the high jump, Stephen Krupa topped his own school record jump with a mark of 2.03m (6'8") only to watch teammate Bobby Harris just minutes later post a mark of 2.08m (6'9.75") to set a new record. Caleb Collins established a new program best in the triple jump with a leap of 14.20m (46'7.25") and Jacoby Hadden bested his own 200m record after racing to a time of 21.73.

Nick Morken, the ASun Indoor Track & Field Outstanding Freshman, continued his stellar collegiate debut capturing the 1,500m title with a time of 3:53.63. He was followed in the top 10 finishers by several teammates including Tyler Stahl (4th), Jacob Fuller (7th) and Brad Hort (9th). Sophomore standout Michael Damato was the runner-up in the 3,000m steeplechase in a time of 9:47.12.

"We had lots of great performances this weekend," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "This was a tremendous way to open our outdoor season. I thought the athletic staff did a wonderful job of running a great track meet. It was exciting to watch the guys perform well and see some benefits of their hard work. Really impressed by the performances of the high jumpers."

North Florida will next compete Apr. 3-4 at the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla.


Morken Claims A-Sun Indoor Track Most Outstanding Freshman Male Performer Honor
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3/6/2015

MACON, Ga. -- North Florida's Nick Morken was named the 2015 Atlantic Sun Most Outstanding Freshman Male Performer for Indoor Track after a stellar performance at the recently concluded conference championship meet.

Morken, a native of Niceville, Fla., finished the championship meet as the third highest scoring runner overall and the top freshman scorer. He posted individual event titles in both the 800m (1:53.60) and the Mile (4:12.34), while also helping lead the Osprey's distance medley relay (DMR) team to a gold medal finish in a time of 10:13.70.

During his debut indoor collegiate season, Morken was consistently one of the squads top performers, even posting the fastest 800m time of the year in the Atlantic Sun.

"We knew Nick would be very good when we signed him and he has not disappointed," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "His performance is only half of the story, as he is just such a great kid. He is humble and unselfish. He also makes the guys around him better through his work ethic and the way he carries himself daily. Nick is a winner in all phases of the college athlete definition."

Morken and the rest of his UNF teammates now turn their attention to the Outdoor Track season which opens for the Ospreys on Mar. 27-28 at the UNF Spring Invitational at Hodges Stadium.


OspreyTF Men Take Second, Women Come in Third at at ASun Indoor Championships
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3/1/2015

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – University of North Florida men's track and field took second and the women finished in third as the Ospreys concluded competition at the Atlantic Sun Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday. The men accumulated 121 points for their highest-ever finish at the Indoor Championships. The women finished with 94 points and had their highest finish since taking third in 2012.

During the last day of competition, UNF won three events to go along with the four it won on Saturday. The men won the Mile and the 800 meters, while the women claimed the Mile title.

Nick Morken ran away with victories in both the 800 meters and the Mile. Morken dominated the 8000 meters, winning by almost two-and-a-half seconds. Morken clocked a race-winning time of 1:53.60. In the Mile, Morken beat out Northern Kentucky's JJ Webber by .65 of a second, crossing the finish line in a time of 4:12.34.

Alessandra Valdes captured the individual title in the Mile, running a time of 5:00.38 and winning the race by nearly one second.

The Ospreys begin their outdoor season in three weeks with their own UNF Spring Break Invitational. The two-day meet is scheduled for Mar. 27-28 at Hodges Stadium.

Coach Jeff Pigg quotes:
I am extremely proud of how well we competed on both sides. It was a great meet for the Ospreys.

Led by 800m and Mile champion Nick Morken the men's program recorded a program best second place finish at the ASun Championship. Nick is talented kid with a big heart. He loves to compete and he gives it his all. He anchored the DMR and won both individual events in convincing style. Jeremy Bryan and Bradly Langenburg both ran personal best to give us three of the top six finishers in the Mile.

In the second event of the day, Alessandra Valdez won the women's Mile with teammates Alexis Irwin (3rd) and freshman Emily Stallings (6th) both scoring points while posting personal bests. Valdez continued her great weekend by leading a 2-3-6 UNF finish in the 800m. Vanessa Philbert ran a great race in the 800m also recording a lifetime best. The mile was a great way to start the day. Our whole team fed off of those first couple races and we continued to compete very well and record many personal bests and top finishes.

In the 5000m, freshman Eden Meyer ran a phenomenal race finishing in a time of 16:55. She is such a fierce competitor and really fun to watch race. Michael Damato ran very strong to finish 4th.

Jacoby Hadden had a great day lowering his school record in the 60m with a second place finish followed by a third place effort in the 200m. Jacoby really came through for us. He is a great kid and it is thrilling to see his dreams realized on the track. In the 400m, Desmond Robb broke the school record placing 2nd followed closely by senior teammate Cecil Rolle in third.

We knew our middle distance guys would run well but the sprinters and jumpers really elevated our team to second place finish. Highest ever for UNF

On the field side of competition, Caleb Collins collected a second-place finish in the triple jump while Shelton McLean was third in the pole vault. A duo of freshmen women earned fifth and sixth place finisher in their first conference championship meet which gives us excitement about good things to come.


Competition Concludes for Indoor TF at Hilton Garden Invite
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1/31/2015

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Day two of competition at the Hilton Garden Innvitational saw strong performances on both the men's and women's sides for the North Florida Track & Field team on the JDL Fast Track.

Freshman runner Nick Morken highlighted the men's showing with a third-place finish in the mile with an Atlantic Sun Conference season best time of 4:12.84. Junior teammate Jeremy Bryan was 20th in the same event with a time of 4:21.29. Jacoby Hadden, the current A-Sun Track Athlete of the Week, collected a seventh-place finish with a 22.64 in the 200m.

Vernetia Irving posted a Top 10 finish in the women's 200m with a time of 25.71, while also earning a 13th-place finish in the 60m at 7.84. In the women's mile race, Alessandra Valdes led a quartet of solid performances for the Ospreys finishing 13th in 5:10.52 followed by Dagmar Olsen (5:11.42), Alexis Irwin (5:14.05) and Emily Stallings (5:19.70).


Personal Best Performances Pace Indoor TF on Day 1 of Hilton Garden Invite
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1/30/2015

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The North Florida indoor track and field team had a solid showing on the opening day of competition at the Hilton Garden Innvitational at JDL Fast Track on Friday.

Pole vaulter Megan Walker led the women's side with a first-place vault of 11'05.75" (3.50m) followed by teammate Meg Simon in second with a matching mark of 11'05.75". Men's vaulter Shelton McLean finished second with a vault of 14'05.25" (4.40m).

In the sprints, a pair of Osprey men's runners qualified for the semifinals in the 60m Hurdles (Marques Burgman, 8.32) and the 60m (Jacoby Hadden, 6.94). Vernetia Irving also advanced to the women's 60m Hurdle semis with a qualifying time of 7.72, a personal best.

UNF also had several other Top 10 performances on the opening day including: Brad Hort (15:07.72 - personal record) and Justin Bryan (15:11.96) finishing fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 5000m. Desmond Robb was sixth in the 400m (50.23), Bobby Harris finished fifth in the high jump (6'05.50") and Caleb Collins was seventh in the long jump (22'08.50"). Freshman Nick Morken raced to a fourth place finish in the 800m with an ASun season best time of 1:53.33.

On the women's side Emily Miller finished fifth in the high jump with a leap of 5'05.75" while the trio of Dagmar Olsen (2:15.05), Alessandra Valdes (2:15.08) and Vanessa Philbert (2:15.78) finished fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively, in the 800m.

Freshman Eden Meyer, making her indoor track debut, earned a heat victory in the women's 3000m with a time of 9:59. Michael Damato bettered his personal record in the men's 3000m to finish 17th in a time of 8:33.34.


Track & Field Continues Indoor Campaign at Hilton Garden Innvitational
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1/29/2015

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Following a strong indoor season debut, the North Florida track and field teams continue their campaign in the Hilton Garden Innvitational at the JDL Fast Track facility.

The Ospreys sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers collected several school records and event championships at last week's Jimmy Carnes Invitational and capped the performance by having a trio of athletes - Jacoby Hadden, Bobby Harris and Emily Miller - earn weekly accolades from the Atlantic Sun Conference.

This week the middle distance and distance runners look to help build on their teammates successes against an elite level field in Winston-Salem.

"This weekend's meet features some very good athletes," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "The level of competition should bring out some great performances from our UNF athletes. It is exciting to have the our cross country runners getting into track competition for the first time this year."

Those athletes making their season debuts this weekend include Alessandra Valdes and Dagmar Olsen in both the 800m and Mile. Vanessa Philbert will join them in the 800m, while Alexis Irwin races for the first time this season in the Mile. All-Conference Cross Country performers Eden Meyer and Elle Baker along with Lauren Gonzalez will race the 3,000m as preparation for running the 5,000m later this season.

Freshman Nick Morken races in his first collegiate 800m race after a strong showing in the Mile last weekend. Cross country standout Michael Damato along with Jacob Fuller and Jeremy Bryan will all compete in both the 3,000m and the Mile. The trio of Brad Hort, Justin Bryan and Tyler Bennett are set to compete in the 5,000m this weekend.

In addition, UNF will look to have strong performances in the sprints, hurdles, jumps and vault as the squad continues to build towards the Atlantic Sun Conference championships, which will be held at the same JDL Fast Track facility.

"Not only is this weekend's meet a great opportunity for the team to comepte at the same facility as the A-Sun Championship will be held next month," added Pigg. "But it also allows the sprinters and hurdlers to have the chance to compete on back-to-back days, which is similar to how the conference meet will be."

The Hilton Garden Innvitational marks the final tune-up for the North Florida track and field teams before the conference championship meet on Feb. 28-Mar.1.


IndoorTF Has Strong Showing In Season Opening Meet
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1/23/2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Following a 20-week wait, the North Florida track and field team got back into competition Friday at the Jimmy Carnes Invitational Meet in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The Jimmy Carnes marked the opening of the Osprey's indoor season of competition.

Things started off impressively in the high jump as freshman Bobby Harris broke the program's indoor school record with a jump of 2.08m (6'-09.75") to claim a second place finish. On the women's side, freshman Emily Miller continued the strong showing after earning the top spot with a personal record jump of 1.70m (5'-07"). Fellow freshman Alyssa Young followed up in second place at 1.60m (5'-03").

In the pole vault, junior Megan Walker posted a first-place finish following a vault of 3.45m (11'-03.75")

Sophomore sprinters, Darius Vanblount and Marques Burgman, both qualified for the 55m hurdle finals. Burgman clocked a new school record of 7.66 in the finals finishing fourth with Vanblount following in fifth at 7.81.

Jacoby Hadden broke a pair of school records after running a 6.43 in the 55m and a 21.96 in the 200m.

In the women's 55m, Vernetia Irving advanced to the finals after posting a personal best 7.19.

The men's mile, saw freshman Nick Morken open his collegiate track career with a bang, placing first in a time of 4:12. Junior Alexis Irwin also brought home some hardware after finishing second in the women's mile with a time of 5:10.87.

The Ospreys swept the 800m races with sophomore Vanessa Philbert topping the women's field in a time of 2:15 and junior Brandon Coombs taking the men's crown with a time of 1:54.

Sophomore Desmond Robb took first-place in the Open 400m in 49.68, while teamming with Coombs, Taylor Sumapang and Cecil Rolle to win the 4x400m relay in a time of 3:21.42. The women's 4x400m squad of Younker, Tayler Johnson, Philbert, and Hallie Grimes also looked solid in the season opener finishing second in 4:02.30.

North Florida continues indoor competition next weekend sending an elite squad to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Hilton Garden Invitational.


IndoorTF Opens Season at Jimmy Carnes Invitational
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1/22/2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The North Florida men's and women's track and field squads start competition in their indoor season on Friday at the 8th annual Jimmy Carnes hosted by the Gainesville Sports Commission in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

The meet features both collegiate and youth competitions over a two-day span beginning with the Open/University events on Friday. The Jimmy Carnes is the first of two regular season indoor meets on the UNF schedule before the Atlantic Sun Championship on Feb. 28-Mar.1.

Event Schedule
Open / University/Master (Friday, January 23)
9:00am Women's Pentathlon, Weight Throw (W followed by M)
10:00am High Jump (Men Only)
11:00am Long Jump (W followed by M), Pole Vault (W followed by M), High Jump (Women Only)
11:00am 55m Hurdles (W-M) – PRELIM
11:30am 55m Dash (W, M) – PRELIM
12:30pm 55m Hurdles (M-W)
12:50pm 55m Dash (W, M)
1:20pm 1 Mile (W, M)
2:00pm 400m Dash (W, M)
2:00pm Shot Put (W followed by M), Triple Jump (W followed by M)
2:45pm 800m Run (W, M)
3:30pm 200m Dash (W, M)
4:15pm 3000m Run (W, M)
5:15pm 4x400m Relay (W, M)
5:30pm DMR Relay (W, M)

Head Coach Jeff Pigg's Comments on start of Indoor Season:
"After finishing the most successful cross country season in UNF history, the track teams are very excited to begin competing. While many of the distance runners will only run in the two scheduled indoor meets, our sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers are very anxious to begin competing after 20 weeks of preparation. The returners are looking to build on last year's performances while the freshman are anxious to begin their college careers. This first competition in the UNF jersey will be a very exciting day...

"The mens 800 meter runners will also open their season in Gainesville. Freshmen Nick Morken, Rayford James and Kevin Heron all ran very well in high school with tranfer Brandon Coombs and returners Costa Stathis, Taylor Sumagpang and Christian Acuna hoping to provide improvement in the middle distance results during the indoor season. In the women's 800m, transfer Dagmar Olsen and 2014 Atlantic Sun runner-up Vanessa Philbert are set to run some great races for the Ospreys in 2015."


#MXC Looks To Make History at #ASunXC Championships
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10/31/2014 9:00:00 AM

DeBARY, Fla. -- The North Florida men's cross country team seeks its first Atlantic Sun Conference championship Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., at River City Nature Park.

The Ospreys, currently ranked No. 6 in the latest USTFCCCA South Region poll, have finished top three in four of their five races this season including a pair of team championships. UNF's best finish at the conference meet was a tie for third in 2009.

"This is a very excited group and we cannot wait to get to the Atlantic Sun Championship meet this weekend," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "We have been waiting all year long for this weekend and our development as the season progressed indicates that we should be in the hunt for a title. This season has been very enjoyable and what makes it better is that we continue to improve even this late in the season. Our group of young guys is putting things together."

Sophomore Michael Damato, an All-Atlantic Sun and All-Freshman honoree last season, leads the UNF lineup. Damato has been the squad's top finisher in every race he's competed in this season and owns a trio of Top 10 overall showings this year. He clocked a personal best time of 24:59.23 at the Mt. Dew Invitational.

"Mike Damato has been so consistent as our front runner," Pigg stated. "He showed up here very prepared following a great summer of training."

The freshmen duo of Tyler Bennett and Nick Morken have provided the Ospreys with strong performances near the top of the lineup. Morken has been among the squad's top three performers in every race including a team top showing at the Hatter Invitational, a race run on the same course as this weekend's race. He owns a personal best time of 25:10.79, run at the Mt. Dew Invitational, while Bennett's best time also came at the Mt. Dew in 25:02.51. Bennett has been UNF's number two runner in each of the last four races.

"Tyler Bennett and Nick Morken have had very stong freshmen campaigns," added Pigg. "They both possess a nice combination of talent backed by desire, which has them running very well. Neither of them go into a race 'hoping to be good', they plan to be good. Tyler and Nick bring such a winning attitude to our group and it has helped us navigate our way to higher levels of performance."

Sophomore transfer Brad Hort and junior twins Jeremy and Justin Bryan have provided both leadership and strong depth for the squad. Hort has consistently been the team's fourth finisher in races and raced a season best time of 25:22.28 at the Mt. Dew Invitational. The Bryans also collected personal best marks at the Mt. Dew with Justin finishing in 25:34.56 and Jeremy clocking a 25:44.19.

"Brad Hort, a transfer from the University of Georgia, has been very nice addition to the team," continued Pigg. "He works hard and he wants to win. Brad was a Footlocker finalist in high school and is in the early stages of a great career here at UNF. Justin and Jeremy continue to be very consistent with their work and detail oriented practices. They were counted on heavily last season and now with some other help up front they have less pressure and more opportunity. We are expecting to see a great race from both of them this weekend."

Rounding out the lineup for the Ospreys this weekend will be senior Jacob Fuller and a pair of freshmen, Tyler Stahl and Wesley Norton. This trio has been a solid group that has helped push UNF top finishes this season. Fuller posted a personal best time of 25:51.83 at the Upstate Invitational earlier this month while Stahl ran a personal best 26:14.45 at the Mt. Dew Invitational. Norton, a Jacksonville native and Stanton Prep product, also posted his best time at the Mt. Dew finishing in 27:08.52.

"Jacob Fuller continues to show signs that he is very fit," Pigg concluded. "If he races like he has practiced, then this weekend he will be a top five runner for us. Tyler Stahl and Wesley Norton have done a very nice job to put themselves into our top nine and on the list to compete at the A-Sun Championship as freshmen. These guys are gaining valuable experience and really add to our winning environment."

After competing Saturday in the Atlantic Sun Championship, North Florida turns its attention to the NCAA South Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 14.


Damato Leads #MXC to 5th at Crimson Classic
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10/17/2014 11:00:00 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In a field filled with regionally ranked programs, the South Region No. 8 North Florida men's cross country team captured a fifth-place showing in the challenging Crimson Classic on Alabama's Harry Pritchett Course.

UNF concluded the race with 165 points, finishing ahead of South Region No. 6 ranked Alabama, No. 10 Tennessee, No. 13 Samford, No. 14 Mississippi State and South Central No. 6 Stephen F. Austin.

Sophomore Michael Damato notched his fourth consecutive top runner performance for the Ospreys finishing 11th in an 8k time of 25:28.77. The freshman duo of Tyler Bennett and Nick Morken joined him in the Top 25 after finishing 18th (25:38.33) and 21st (25:41.36), respectively.

"It was an outstanding performance by our very young men's program," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "Michael Damato continues to run well. He is gaining experience and gets closer to the front in every race. He is becoming a very good leader day in and day out. Tyler and Nick had fantastic showings as freshmen. These guys are just getting started with what we expect to be great careers. Our top three really hit it today. Justin and Jeremy Bryan have been practicing great and that began to show through in this race."

Sophomore Brad Hort led a solid second wave of Osprey runners finishing with a time of 26:18.22 (55th) followed closely by juniors Justin Bryan (26:27.68) and Jeremy Bryan (26:28.46). Senior Jacob Fuller rounded out the UNF top seven finishing in a time of 26:44.00.

A trio of freshman wrapped up the group of competitors for the Ospreys as Tyler Stahl posted a time of 26:56.84, Wesley Norton finished in 27:31.01 and Bradley Langenberg clocked a time of 27:52.37.

Having concluded its regular season race schedule, North Florida now turns its attention to the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship on Nov. 1 in Deland, Fla.

"This was a nice race to have leading into the conference meet in two weeks," added Pigg. "It leaves us confident and hungry for another race."


XC on the Rise: Men Ranked 8th & Women 14th in South Region
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10/6/2014 4:34:00 PM

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The North Florida cross country programs continue to garner national attention for their strong performances as both the men's and women's teams made moves in the latest USTFCCCA Regional Rankings.

"As the season goes along, I believe the rankings become more accurate due to amount of head-to-head competitions and common opponents," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "We are definitely pleased with the direction that both teams are headed."

The UNF men climbed two spots up to 8th in the South Region following their third-place showing at the Upstate Invitational over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Osprey women marked a return to the polls at 14th after posting a runner-up performance at Upstate. The women held the No. 11 spot in the South Region preseason rankings.

"Our young guys on the men's team continue to compete at a good level," stated Pigg. "Several of them are still making the adjustment to the collegiate 8k race as well as college life in general. Michael Damato has done a good job of leading this group and he is running very well and looks to keep getting better. Our freshman are gaining confidence each race and even with each training session. Nick Morken, Tyler Bennett and Tyler Stahl have developed as the season progresses and transfer Brad Hort seems to have found a home here at UNF. With consistent training, he has run very well and shown continued improvement as we go through the schedule. I'm also pleased with the running of our returners, Jacob Fuller and both Jeremy and Justin Bryan. We have established a good routine and everybody is looking forward to the races ahead. By nature the sport is more an individual competition, but our focus has been to work together and we have discovered that by doing that great things can happen.

"Our women's team is getting closer to having all of the girls 100 percent healthy on the same weekend," Pigg added. "Freshman Eden Meyer has been a good leader for us, while seniors Elle Baker and Alessandra Valdez are finally both healthy and feeling good. Andelka Tancis was sick last week, but has still run very well all season. Alyssa Brandt and Alexis Irwin have gotten stronger and I believe have great races coming soon. Newcomer Dagmar Olsen is a very good runner that ran 2:07 in the 800m late in the summer and is finally getting her cross country base under her. I look for her to rise to the occasion as we head to the next few meets. Overall, we have been solid but all of the girls realize that the teams better days lie ahead in the next few weeks."

North Florida next competes on Oct. 17 at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The field at the event looks to feature a strong collection of regionally ranked program.

"We are looking forward to our next meet at Alabama because we will be facing the best competition of the season thus far."


Damato Paces #MXC to 3rd Place Finish at Upstate Invitational
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10/4/2014 3:10:00 PM

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The USTFCCCA South Region No. 10-ranked North Florida men's cross country team continued their strong 2014 campaign earning a third-place finish Saturday at the Upstate Invitational.

Sophomore Michael Damato was again the team's top performer clocking a 25:08.84 over the 8k course layout to earn a third-place individual showing. As a team, UNF finished with 84 points, behind only Wake Forest (No. 11 ranked in the Southeast Region) at 36 and No. 7 South Region ranked Georgia Tech with 54.

"Mike Damato had a very good race upfront for us," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "Overall we felt like we competed well. Our pack was good with just a small gap between our first and fifth place finishers. It was a good weekend for the UNF men."

A quartet of Osprey harriers finished less than a minute behind Damato's strong showing to give UNF five scoring runners in the Top 30. Freshman Tyler Bennett headed the pack in a time of 25:38.99 to finish 15th while fellow freshman Nick Morken was 17th at 25:42.90.

Sophomore Brad Hort ran a time of 25:46.11 in finishing 23rd and senior Jacob Fuller posted a personal best 25:51.83 as UNF's fifth runner in 26th. The Ospreys lineup was rounded out by junior Jeremy Bryan in 33rd (26:27.89) and freshman Tyler Stahl in 34th (26:28.67).

Wake Forest captured the team crown ahead of Georgia Tech and UNF. Appalachian State finished fourth at 91 followed by Western Carolina (175), College of Charleston (192), Winthrop (206), USC Upstate (206), UNC Asheville (206), The Citadel (281), Newberry (382), Lees-McRae (393), Wofford (407), Charleston Southern (430), Pesbyterian (446).

Georgia Tech's Jeremy Greenwald was the top individual finisher in a time of 24:58.52 with Wake Forest's Kent Garrett (25:08.32) edged Damato at the tape by a half a second.

North Florida will have two weeks off before concluding their regular season schedule at the Crimson Classic on Oct. 17 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.


#MXC Reach Top 10 in Regional Rankings
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9/23/2014 2:45:00 PM

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The North Florida men's cross country continued to climb the USTFCCCA South Region rankings with the Ospreys moving to 10th in the latest edition of the national poll.

The Ospreys, who were previously ranked 11th, are coming off a strong showing at the Mt. Dew Invitational last weekend in Gainesville, Fla. UNF earned a third-place finish coming in just behind regionally ranked teams from Florida (No. 3) and Georgia Tech (No. 7).

"We are excited to continue moving up the rankings," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "We ran a very competitive race in Gainesville and were really close to Florida, who is ranked third in the region. I'm very proud of the progress we are making as the season goes along and we just need to continue to work smartly and keep our focus on the opportunities that lie ahead especially the ASun Championship. Mike Damato is running well as expected and the influx of newcomers like Nick Morken, Tyler Bennett and Brad Hort have added much needed talent and depth to our lineup and made a significant impact. The Bryan twins (Justin and Jeremy) are beginning to round into great shape as well."


#MXC Claim 3rd at Mt. Dew Invite Behind Strong Runs
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9/20/2014 3:34:00 PM
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With four runners among the Top 20 finishers, the North Florida men's cross country team continued its strong 2014 season earning a third-place showing at the 26th annual Mt. Dew Invitational at Florida's Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Sophomore Michael Damato led the way for Ospreys finishing sixth in a personal record time of 24:59.23 while freshmen Tyler Bennett was seventh in a personal best time of 25:02.51. Fellow freshman Nick Morken also bettered his 8k mark finishing 11th at 25:10.79.

"The guys really ran well and showed that we have a strong team," said UNF head coach Jeff Pigg. "Our newcomers have really provided us with a boost and depth in our lineup. The twins (Justin and Jeremy Bryan) battled some illness throughout the week but were able to both provide solid performances. We are working hard in training and are excited about where we are right now as a group."

Brad Hort, a sophomore transfer from Georgia, posted his best finish of the season at 25:22.28 to finish 15th while Justin Bryan was 22nd in a personal best of 25:34.56. Jeremy Bryan also posted a personal record time of 25:44.19 to finish 26th, and sophomore Jacob Fuller rounded out the list of UNF scoring runners with a 34th-place finish of 26:13.35,

Georgia Tech captured the team title with a score of 41 with Florida finishing second at 51. North Florida was third with 60 points followed by Florida Gulf Coast (137), Kennesaw State (150), South Florida (172), FIU (216), Troy (229), FAU (252), Stetson (252), Jacksonville (297) and Florida A&M (332).


#MXC Dominates Field at 110% Invitational
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9/6/2014 5:12:00 PM
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- North Florida runners swept the first seven scoring finishes as the Ospreys earned their second straight team title at the 110% UNF Cross Country Invitational on Saturday morning at the Hayt Golf Center.

UNF finished with a team score of 15 to outdistance runner-up finisher Stetson (70 points).

Sophomore Michael Damato, making his season debut, led the Osprey's strong performance clocking a time of 15:45.24 over the 5K course. Damato was followed closely by freshmen teammates Tyler Bennett (15:46.02) and Nick Morken (15:46.30) with sophomore Brad Hort (15:57.61), juniors Jeremy Bryan (15:59.27) and Justin Bryan (16:00.86) and sophomore Jacob Fuller (16:12.85) rounding out the scoring finishers for UNF.

"The team ran well today," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "We were excited to have a strong pack run up front. It was really nice to see our freshmen and some of our other newcomers continue to run well. It was good to have Mike Damato back after missing last week's race due to not feeling well. We feel good about where our team is right now. They are working hard and they want to be good and it is nice to see the work they put in over the summer starting to pay off for them. It was a great morning filled with a lot of excitement on a really good cross country course."

Former UNF runner and defending event champion Chris Haynes, who raced unattached, was the top finisher crossing the finish line in 15:42.32.

Webber International finished third in the collegiate team standings with a score of 80 followed by Jacksonville (87) and Edward Waters (127). In the boy's prep race, Creekside High claimed the team title with a score of 27 points.


#MXC Earns Team Title at Hatter Invitational
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8/30/2014 3:00:00 PM
DeLAND, Fla. -- Bolstered by four runners finishing in the Top 10, the North Florida men's cross country team opened the 2014 season with a meet championship at the Hatter Invitational on Saturday morning.

The Ospreys finished with a meet best score of 36 highlighted by true freshman Nick Morken's fourth place showing in a time of 26:50.90 on the 8K course at River City Nature Park.

"This was a very good opening performance for the men's team," said head coach Jeff Pigg. "Our plan for the race worked well and I was really pleased with the performance of our entire team. I was proud of our incoming runners and felt like they really gave our team a boost. Overall it was a great morning for us."

Joining Morken among the top 10 finishers on Saturday, junior Justin Bryan claimed a sixth-place showing in 27:02.28 while freshman Tyler Bennett was 7th (27:14.96) and sophomore Brad Hort was 8th (27:23.26). Sophomore Jacob Fuller clocked a time of 27:32.79 in finishing 11th followed by freshman Tyler Stahl in 18th (27:55.56) and sophomore Scott Simpson in 24th (29:40.81)

UNF edged preseason Atlantic Sun favorite Lipscomb for the team crown with the Bisons tallying a score of 43. Florida Gulf Coast was third with a score of 44 followed by Stetson (122) and Bethune-Cookman (126).

North Florida next races on Sept. 6 in their lone home event of the season, the 110% UNF Cross Country Invitational at the Hayt Golf Center on the UNF campus.


Niceville's Morken, Howell share Large School Track Athlete of the Year
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By SETH STRINGER / Daily New

Photo by NICK TOMECEK / Daily News

May 31, 2014
NICEVILLE – Thomas Howell – the man, the myth, the legend of Niceville’s long-distance running scene for the last four years – is more than a bit peeved.

“This is typical Nick,” the University of Florida-bound senior says of his senior pal, Nick Morken, who is now more than fashionably late for Thursday’s Daily News Large School Track Athlete of the Year photoshoot.

Five, 10, 15, 20 minutes have passed and still no Morken.

Howell has called him dozens of times, yet no answer. Then his phone rings. It’s Morken, and he explains why he’s late: He was at the track instead of in front of the school, he left his phone at home, he didn’t have his clothes prepared, etc.

This baffles Howell, who is a seasoned pro of Athlete of the Year interviews at this point.

How seasoned? “This should be your sixth Athlete of the Year – four cross country and two track,” I explain to the three-time state champion.

His response: “I wouldn’t know.” Actually it’s his seventh if you count his 2013 Gatorade Runner of the Year award.

Morken finally shows up without a medal. Howell has all nine (six track, three cross country) of his.

Fittingly, their differences in punctuality speak volumes of their disparate rises in the long-distance running game.

A league of his own

When Howell posted a 15:56 at the state cross county meet to medal in sixth as just a freshman, the Sunshine State was put on notice. Ever since, Howell – now standing a lean 5-foot-10, 140 pounds – has blazed a path of medals.

In cross country, he has placed sixth, fourth and first at state, his mountaintop moment coming as a junior. In track, he ran away with the 3,200-meter state title as a junior and was a part of the 4x800 relay championship effort this year alongside Morken, Jack Massey and Tripp Davis. All told, he has nine medals.

And the latest may be his most prized.

“We’ve always wanted to win as a team,” said Howell, who ran the second leg of the relay effort that produced a first-place time of 7:50.56. “It’s a really big victory for us. We’ve been working together and pushing each other since early in our careers for this moment.”

Howell also finished second in the 3,200 with a time of 9:11.07, putting a close to a prep career that will take him to the University of Florida this fall.

“UF is getting an awesome guy, an awesome athlete and they’re getting a really good teammate,” Morken said. “I’m proud of him and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do at the next level.”

Added Howell, “I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of improving academically and athletically. There are just so many things that can happen. It’s a good feeling to know that change is coming and a new adventure is about to start.”

The prestige of being a Gator comes on the heels of a record-setting four-year tenure replete with accolades at every turn.

Not only has Howell won nine state medals, but the school’s record-holder in the 3,200 is the only Niceville athlete to win state in two sports and capture three gold medals. The gold medals have also produced some prized jewelry, including state rings that cover the Niceville color spectrum: maroon, white and black.

Looking back at his success, Howell is both nostalgic and forward-thinking.

“It’s an honor to represent this town,” he said. “It means a lot to me personally, but going into college it’s all about to go away. I’m ready to build a new legacy.”

As is Morken.

Morken’s meteoric rise

Morken was introduced to the long-distance running game by Howell as a middle-schooler, and early on he showed glimpses of that raw talent.

Yet it didn’t translate into the state-wide success until his junior campaign, when he finished third at state in cross country and then completed a storybook comeback in the 1,600 to capture track and field state gold.

The 6-0, 145-pound senior continued the momentum into his swan song, first setting the school record in the 5K with a time of 15:07.57 in the prestigious FSU Invitational in Tallahassee.

Then this track season, he placed second at state in the 1,600 and was the catalyst behind the 4x800 relay crew’s state title. As the anchor, Morken turned what looked to be a third- or fourth-place finish into gold with a 1:55 800 split, which was highlighted by him taking the lead with about 500 meters to go and then opening it up down the final 200.

Asked about the significance of this gold compared to his 1,600, Morken said, “I’m a lot more proud of this one. I’ll cherish this one the most because I really wanted us to win as a team.”

Morken concludes his time at Niceville with six state medals (five track, one cross country) and three school records: the 800, 1,600 and 5K.

And before he heads to the University of North Florida, he’d love to add one more to the list.

Swan song

While the prep campaign has ended, Howell and Morken still have one meet left before they officially transition to the next level: the New Balance Nationals Outdoor from June 13-15 in Greensboro, N.C.

The duo will run the 4x800 alongside Massey and Davis, and the quartet will also compete in the distance medley relay (Davis the 400, Massey the 800, Howell the 1,200 and Morken the 1,600).

They’ll enter the latter with one goal at the forefront: setting the school record.

Their 7:50.56 state-title time missed the school record by .01 seconds – set at state in 1998 during a third-place effort.

“That’s one of the main reasons we wanted to go to nationals,” Morken said of the record. “I think we should get it. We’re just going to try and do the best we can. It’s a fun meet and I want to run one more time with these guys before I head off to college.”

Howell agrees on both accounts, but not before throwing out the possibility of national glory.

“I’d love to come home with a national championship,” he said, “but I’d rather go in with low expectations and enjoy our last hoorah before college.”

If the record isn’t meant to be, the two will bask in the glory of sharing in their second straight Track Athlete of the Year honor.

“It’s special,” Morken said. “It’s just another accolade to show the hard work has paid off. I had a great support system of coaches, friends, family and teammates, and I’m really thankful to be Athlete of the Year.

Howell also took the chance to thank his support system.

“It’s a nice final opportunity to thank the community for supporting us and just helping us grow through this entire process,” he said. “And it’s another opportunity to thank my family for always being there.”

So how will the two – who remain the lone athletes in school history with two state track golds – cope with running on separate teams for the first time ever?

“Oh, man, I’m looking forward to it,” quipped Morken, who quickly followed, “I’m just kidding. Thomas is awesome.”

Meanwhile for Howell, the competitive fire still burns bright.

“I’m looking forward to the few races that we have each season that we can compete against each other,” Howell said. “That will be awesome.”

Boys Large School Track and Field All-Area Team
Athletes of the Year: Thomas Howell and Nick Morken, Niceville

First Team
Tripp Davis, Niceville
Jack Massey, Niceville
Roman Spear, Navarre
Corey Bonner, FWB
Garrison Floyd, Choctaw
Davis McKinney, FWB
Trace McMullen, FWB
Trey LaNasa, FWB
Nick Monson, FWB
*Team is comprised of state-medalists

Honorable Mention
Alex Wattley, Navarre
Dominick Wolf, FWB
Christian Gill, Navarre
Caden Ewing, Niceville
Savon Amos, FWB
*Team is comprised of state qualifiers


OspreyXCTF Signs 13
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Andrew Sapin, North Florida Athleticss

3/5/2014 4:00:00 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- University of North Florida men's and women's track and field and cross country head coach Jeff Pigg announced the signing of 13 student-athletes to the Ospreys' Class of 2014.

"We're definitely excited to bring in a talented class," said Pigg. "At the Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships, over half our points were scored by freshmen so being able to bring in another talented class only makes us better. We wanted to recruit student-athletes that are good students, have good character and have the desire to be better. Coach Aaron Kindt and our staff worked hard and did a great job of getting ahold and recruiting these student-athletes."

2014 Men's Signees

Nicholas Morken – Distance
Niceville, Fla./Niceville High School

Personal Bests:
800m: 1:56.07
1600m: 4:21.82
One Mile: 4:20.70
XC(5K): 15:07.57

Noteworthy: 2013 FHSAA 3A 1600m State Champion…2013 FHSAA 3A State Qualifier 800m…2013 FHSAA 3A Region 1 1600m Champion…3rd at 2012 FHSAA 3A State Cross Country Championships…2012 & 2011 Runner Up FHSAA 3A Region 1 Cross Country Championships.

"Nicholas is one of the better runners in the state," said Pigg. "He was the state champion in the 1600m and I think he's a great fit for our program."


Swoop Swoop: Morken Becomes Ospreys' Second Pick Up Of Week
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By Todd Grasley
November 14, 2013

As the cross country season dwindled down for Niceville senior Nick Morken so did the recruiting process. Morken announced via Twitter Wednesday night that he had chosen the University of North Florida over UF, South Alabama, FSU, and Ole Miss. He says he picked the Ospreys for several reasons.

"I like where the program is heading and I like the area of Jacksonville. They are building nice facilities and all in all everything is looking positive over there Also, I really like Coach Pigg's passion. He is always evolving his training philosophy and doesn't settle. He seemed to like me for more than being an athlete."

Morken, finished third at the 2012 Cross Country Finals before going onto win his first state title in the outdoor season with a 4:23.79 clocking in the 1600 meters. This year he finished 24th at the Cross Country Finals and says he wanted to make his decision now so he could focus on the upcoming track season.

"That was very important. I also thought if I committed, maybe it would get others to commit as well."

The Niceville standout is the second pledge to Coach Pigg's squad in the week joining Wesley Norton of Stanton Prep. Morken says he hopes to get more runners on board between now and National Signing Day including Mark Robertson of Pensacola Booker T. Washington, Tyler Bennett of Fort Myers, and the Land O'Lakes duo of Travis Nichols and Tyler Stahl. He believes that the team has a chance to surprise people around the southeast and is looking forward to dawning the grey and blue.

"I am looking forward to getting out on my own and having a great team that I can consistently train with and are closer to my level of physical ability. UNF is getting a hard worker and team player. If I'm the 8th man or if I'm 1st on the team I will run my best for the squad. They will get a guy whose passionate about the sport and will do anything to excel."

Personal Bests

1,600 Meter Run - 4:21.82
3,200 Meter Run - 10:19.79
5,000 Meter Run - 15:07.57

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Nick's Athlete Profile