Nov. 29, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s continued dominance of Atlantic Coast Conference women’s cross country once again has paid dividends in the annual end-of-year awards as coach Karen Harvey and senior Violah Lagat were selected as Coach and Performer of the Year, respectively, Thursday.
It is the sixth consecutive ACC Coach of the Year honor for Harvey, who was selected by a vote of her peers. That is the second-longest streak in league history to NC State’s Rollie Geiger, who collected seven in a row from 1987-93.
Harvey guided FSU to its fifth consecutive ACC Championship as the Seminoles placed all five scoring runners in the top 14, led by Lagat, who won the program’s first individual title in three years. The `Noles totaled 35 points, easily out-distancing runner-up Duke at Virginia Tech, then went on to claim the NCAA South Region title at home, followed by a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. It was the sixth consecutive top-four NCAA finish for the Seminoles, who were unbeaten during the regular season.
Punctuating her final season of eligibility with a brilliant 2012 cross country campaign, Lagat led the Seminoles to a five-week run at No. 1 in the USTFCCCA national rankings. The Kipsirwo, Kenya native earned All-America honors with an 11th-place individual finish – tops among Florida State and ACC runners – at the NCAA Championship on the strength of a career-best 6k time of 19:52.7.
Lagat came into the meet off consecutive victories, capturing the NCAA South Region title on her home course after claiming her first ACC Championship at Virginia Tech. She was among the top four finishers in each of the first three meets of the year: Virginia Tech Invitational (2nd), Notre Dame Invitational (3rd) and Pre-Nationals (4th).
She is the second FSU women’s cross country runner to earn Performer of the Year honors, joining three-time ACC champion Susan Kuijken (2007-2009).