Nov. 12, 2005
Gainesville, Fla. – The Florida State No. 22 men’s cross country team locked up an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championships after finishing in second place at the NCAA South Regional in Gainesville, Fla. on Saturday, November 12. The women’s team finished in third place with 118 points and still has an opportunity to receive an at large bid.
“It was a really good day,” said head coach Bob Braman. “I think that we really ran our toughest race of the year for both teams.”
The men’s team finished with 47 points and only seven points behind Alabama. The Seminoles were led by senior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland / Striling) who finished the 10K in second place with a collegiate personal best time of 29:42.22. Junior Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England / Turton) was the next Seminole to finish as he took seventh with a time of 30:24.06. Senior Sean Burris (Rockledge, Fla. / USF) crossed the finish line in 13th (30:40.15) and was followed closely by junior Phil Nichols (Wolverhampton, England / Birmingham) who took 14th (30:46.88). Senior Kevin Cook (Fern Park, Fla. / Lyman) rounded out the Seminoles scoring as he took 20th in 31:13.26.
“That was the best performance that my men’s team has ever had since I have been at Florida State,” said Braman. “It was a top ten type effort for our guys. Our seniors Burris, Cook and Lemoncello just did phenomenally well and obviously Nichols and Lancashire ran well, but I have to hand it to those three seniors for stepping up and really making the difference. Those guys ran at their absolute best.”
Lemoncello, Lancashire, Burris, Nichols and Cook earned All-South region honors for their top 25 finishes. Sophomore Luke Beevor (Luton, England / Icknield) finished just four spots outside of the All-Region team in 29th with a time of 31:40.77 and classmate Chris Nickson (Pensacola, Fla. / Booker T. Washington) was the Seminoles’ final participate as he took 61st place with a time of 32:52.73.
The women finished just 20 points behind second place finisher Georgia. The Seminoles were led by two All-South region team honorees sophomore Laura Bowerman (Temple Terrance, Fla. / King) and Abbie Wilshire (Bristol, England / Birmingham). Bowerman finished the race in seventh place with a collegiate personal best 6K time of 20:52.59 while Wilshire finished 14th with a time of 21:29.50.
Sophomore Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, Va. / Christiansburg) took 28th with a time of 22:02.75. Right behind Hagen was freshman Lydia Willemese (Forest, Ontario / St. Christopher) who placed 31st with a time of 22:06.79. Junior Jessica Crate (Brights Grove, Ontario / Arizona State) rounded out the Seminoles’ scoring as she claimed 38th in 22:13.91.
“On the women’s side, we almost pulled it off,” said Braman. “I’m really proud of the effort that our women gave. As third place we have a chance at an at large bid but it is a hope for the best kind of situation.”
If the women’s team does not get selected for an at-large bid, Bowerman still has an opportunity to get selected for one of the two individual at-large selections.
The 13 team at-large selections and two individual at-large selections will be announced on ncaasports.com by 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 13. The NCAA National Championships will be held on Monday, November 21, in Terre Haute, Ind. at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The men’s 10K championship will begin at 12:00 p.m. (noon) while the women’s 6K championship will start at 1:15 p.m.