She is being honored after named back-to-back the SEC Cross Country Individual Champion.
— Gators Track and Field & Cross Country (@GatorsTF) October 30, 2023
Valby previously won the award after her commanding victory at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, two weeks ago. She was given that honor after being crowned the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational Champion among a field of high caliber competition including former NCAA Cross Country Champions and 21 nationally ranked programs.
This time around she is being acknowledged for defending her SEC Cross Country individual title. Her first place finished helped the No. 7 Florida Gators to its first team victory since 2012, taking down multiple ranked programs in the process.
The redshirt junior from Tampa, Florida completed the 6k course in a time of 18:37.5, a remarkable 33.8 seconds faster than the second place finisher. However, the difference in time at the end does not tell the whole story.
At the 3000m mark Valby and Doris Lemngole of Alabama had separated themselves from the rest of the competitors. Despite Lemngole passing Valby briefly at the 4000m mark, Valby found her final gear, reclaimed the lead and started to put together an extremely impressive final 2000m of the race. In between the 4000m and 5000m mark Valby had increased her lead to 14.1 seconds before increasing that margin to 33.8 between the 5000m mark and the finish.
Valby now totals three USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Women’s Athlete of the Week awards over the course of her collegiate career.