Oct. 7, 2008
NEW ORLEANS − The Florida State men’s cross country team enjoyed a sizeable leap up the national polls this week after winning the Notre Dame Invitational in convincing fashion while the women’s team held steady after also earning an important victory at Notre Dame. The men are ranked No. 13 while the women are No. 3 in this week’s USTFCCCA coaches’ poll.
The men’s No. 13 ranking represents a jump of 13 spots from last week after recording the fastest overall team time at the Notre Dame Invitational over the past five seasons. The Seminoles downed five nationally-ranked opponents en route to the victory. FSU was paced by senior Luke Gunn, who took home ACC Performer of the Week honors following a school record 8k run of 23:35 to finish fourth. The men remain as the No. 3 ranked team in the South Region.
“We are excited to be ranked among the top 15 men’s cross country teams in the nation,” men’s cross country head coach Bob Braman said. “I think it’s a fair ranking based on how well we ran at Notre Dame. This continues to show that we are right on course to finish with a top 10 team this season.”
The women find themselves ranked No. 3 again this week after taking home an impressive victory as well at Notre Dame. The women’s squad posted 88 total points to finish first in the field of 23 teams while earning victories over 11 other ranked teams, plus four more squads that received votes in last week’s coaches’ poll. The Seminoles remain the No. 1-ranked team in the South Region.
“It’s nice to see the rankings come out after the strong effort we got this weekend from the team,” women’s head coach Karen Harvey said. “We can now begin to prepare for the Pre-Nationals Race after seeing the rankings because we have an idea of what teams we will be racing against.”
The Seminoles are in elite company this week as they are just one of only three programs to have both its men’s and women’s cross country teams ranked in the nation’s top 13, including the only team from the Atlantic Coast Conference that can claim such an honor. The Seminoles join Oregon and Stanford as the only other programs that are ranked as highly in both genders.
One of the nation’s premier races is up next for the men’s and women’s cross country teams when they head to the NCAA Pre-Nationals race on October 18 in Terre Haute, Ind. The meet, hosted by Indiana State University, is run on the Lavern-Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, the site of this year’s National Championship race to be held on November 24.