Oct. 5, 2007
There has been quite a bit to talk about the Florida State cross country program this week. The Seminole women’s team earned its highest national ranking this week and Susan Kuijken accomplished something that has never been done at the conference level by an FSU runner.
Thanks to a third-place showing at last week’s Notre Dame Invitational, the women’s team jumped up one spot to No. 11 in the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Poll. The Seminoles started the season by matching their highest ranking ever at No. 12, which they held for the first month of the year. The men’s team remained at No. 24 in the poll.
“We’re very excited about the ranking,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “We ran a good race at Notre Dame and beat some quality teams so this ranking is a reflection of that. As happy as we are with the ranking, all of us know how good this team can be so we want to keep climbing throughout the year, culminating at the NCAA Championships.”
Spearheading the third-place finish at Notre Dame was All-America Kuijken (Nijmegen, Netherlands). The sophomore won her second event of the season and in the process was named ACC Performer of the Week. It’s the second conference honor for Kuijken this season and the third by a Seminole. Coming into the season, Florida State’s women’s program had only won a grand total of two POW awards and hadn’t won one since 2002.
Kuijken turned in one of the best 5k performances in school history at Notre Dame. Her winning time of 16:32 is the fastest time by a Seminoles since 2001. Her mark is the fastest 5k in the conference so far this season and the fastest in the ACC in over a year.
“Susan ran a great race at Notre Dame and was really in control from the start,” Braman noted. “If she can continue to make the progress that she has so far this season she can do some big things at the conference, regional and national level.”
Not all the attention of late has gone to the cross country team. The two-time defending national championship men’s outdoor track and field team earned a special recognition recently. On September 18, a resolution was past by the Board of County Commissioners of Leon County to honor the Seminoles’ second national championship.