Oct. 18, 2011
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Fresh off its resounding victory at the Indiana State Pre-Nationals meet, the Florida State women’s cross country team is ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history.
The Seminoles placed all five scorers in the top 14 of the 40-team field, with only 19 seconds of separation, as they posted a winning total of 46 points.
That kind of dominance, against a field that included top-five teams Colorado and Georgetown, helped the Seminoles jump from No. 3 to No. 1 in this week’s U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll.
“It’s October 18 and right now our team is looking really strong compared to some other teams in the nation,” FSU women’s coach Karen Harvey said. “That’s all it is – a ranking right now – not a prediction for nationals.”
Despite consecutive NCAA Championship runner-up finishes and four consecutive podium appearances, the Seminoles have never been ranked higher than No. 2 in poll, dating to its 1995 inception.
Florida State jump came as a result of its victory, coupled with previous No. 1 Villanova and No. 2 Providence finishing fourth and 16th, respectively, at Saturday’s Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
The Seminoles were the unanimous selection for the top spot, earning all 12 first place votes. In a week where the national polls were jumbled significantly following performances at the two major meets, Wisconsin adidas Invitational champion Washington made a 22-place jump to No. 2, while Vanderbilt checked in at No. 3 after only receiving votes in the last poll.
In order, Villanova, Arizona, Georgetown, Providence, Stanford, Syracuse and Cal round out the top 10.
Harvey said the Seminole will now turn their attention to the Oct. 29 ACC Championships.
“We’re going to control everything we can control,” Harvey said. “We need to get better.”
Bob Braman’s FSU men tumbled seven spots to No. 18 in the USTFCCCA rankings, after tying for fourth at Pre-Nationals. The Seminoles ran without one of their top runners – Wes Rickman – while Jakub Zivec was less than 100 percent. Both men are battling hamstring issues.
Winslow collects second ACC weekly honor
FSU junior co-captain Amanda Winslow has been selected as ACC Performer of the Week for the second time in three weeks, after leading the Seminoles to their Pre-Nationals victory Sunday in Terre Haute, Ind.
Winslow finished fourth overall in the 303-runner field, covering the 6-kilometer course in 20:44, despite a strong head-wind, slow footing and unseasonably warm conditions at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
Her performance followed a fourth-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 30, which also contributed to a Seminole victory and earned the Lawrenceville, Ga. native her first ACC weekly honor of the season.
This week’s ACC Performer of the Week honor is the third in Winslow’s cross country career for the Seminoles.
`Noles shine in Charlotte, too
While FSU’s top men’s and women’s performers were competing at Pre-Nationals over the weekend, a smaller contingent of Seminoles headed to Charlotte, N.C. for the Royal Cross Country Challenge on Saturday.
Seminole freshmen Aubree Worden stole the show at McAlpine Park, posting the top finish among collegians with a second-place finish in a 5-kilometer, personal best of 17:04.93.
“It was a great race for Aubree, especially after coming off the disappointment of not traveling to Pre-Nationals,” FSU women’s coach Karen Harvey said. “She responded with a fabulous performance. I’m really excited to watch her at ACC’s.”
Worden led the Seminoles to the team title with 36 points as she was joined in the top 10 by freshman Linden Hall (sixth, 17:41.81) and junior Kaitlyn Iselborn (eighth, 17:47.92). Emily Ness (16th, 18:11.91) and Kailand Cosgrove (17th, 18:12.93) rounded out FSU’s top five scoring finishers.
First place in the women’s race went to Jackie Drouin, who ran unattached but will represent the Seminoles on the track in the spring. Drouin won in 17:01.50, while Astrid Leutert, also racing unattached but eligible to compete for the `Noles in track, was third in 17:15.34.