August 30, 2007 - by
Florida State Cross Country Hits the Ground Running on Friday

Aug. 30, 2007

Tallahassee, Fla.-Florida State’s cross country teams will open the 2007 regular season schedule Friday night at the Covered Bridge Open hosted by Appalachian State. The race will start at 5:45pm for the 11 women’s teams and 6:15pm for the 11 men’s teams at the State Farm Fields in Boone, N.C. Both Seminole teams will look for their seventh-consecutive top-five finish.

“It’s pretty low key,” said head coach Bob Braman. “We’re going to have some fun, get out of the heat and get up in the mountains and do some running.”

The Seminole women enter the 5k race having won the event the last two years. Last season, Florida State placed all 12 of its runners in the top 50, including 10 who are returning to compete in 2007. Among those runners are veteran seniors Amy Huss (Wyomissing, Pa.) and Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, Va.) who finished fifth and 10th respectively in last year’s meet.

“On the women’s side we’ve got a few injuries so we’re not going to be at our best,” said head coach Braman. “I don’t know if we’re going to be able to match strides with defending regional champion, Georgia, but we’ve got some young kids we need to run and see where they’re at and we need to see how our veterans have trained over the summer.”

The men’s team finished third in last year’s race, with veteran senior Chris Nickinson (Pensacola, Fla.) crossing the line first for the Seminoles with a 10th-place time of 26:35.11. Returning sophomore Trey Andrews (Titusville, Fla.), junior Javier Cruz (Miami, Fla.) and senior Tommy Noyes (North Canton, Ohio) also scored points for the Seminoles.

“On the men’s side I think we’re in pretty good shape.” said Braman. “We have very few people who are dinged up or nursing injuries right now, so we’re in pretty good form for this time of year. It will be a good test for the men.”

Senior standouts Luke Gunn (Forest Gate, England) and Mark Buckingham (Huddersfield, England) will headline the 8k event for the men, while sophomore All-America Susan Kuijken will be leading the way for the women.

The Seminoles will feature a few newcomers on both sides as well, including freshmen Justin Harbor (Bunnell, Fla.), Matt Leeder (Brockville, Ontario) and Bree McArdle (Queensland, Australia), sophomore Hannah England (Oxford, England) and junior Katie Leary (Klamath Falls, Oregon).

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