Nov. 15, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s cross country teams had a successful day at regionals with the women holding firm as the NCAA South Regional Champions for the second consecutive year and men taking third. Tennessee played host to a total of 47 schools at the Lambert Acres Gold Club in Maryville, Tenn., earlier today.
The women had a triumphant day this morning in the 6K with four runners coming in the top 10. Junior Susan Kuijken (Nijmegen, Netherlands) was the third runner to come in and first Seminole to cross the finish line at 21:05.74. Racing across the line shortly after was sophomore Pilar McShine (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) at fourth with 21:06.06. Rounding off the top ten were veterans Linzi Snow (Epping, England) in eighth with 21:11.75 and Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario) at ninth with 21:13.07.
“We ran as easy as we could today,” said women’s head coach Karen Harvey. “We were just aiming for top two but glad to see our girls stepped up.”
Although taking first at regionals is something to celebrate about, the true victory today was the fact the undefeated Seminoles earned an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship to be held in Terre Haute, Ind., November 24th.
Coming off a fourth place finish at the ACC Championships, Coach Braman took the men’s cross country team to another level and coached the men to a third place finish for the 10K run. Leading the Seminoles was junior Daniel Roberts (Vicksburg, Mich.) coming in sixth with 31:14.26. Rounding off the top 15 was sophomore Matt Leeder (Brockville, Ontario) at 12th with 31:32.44, No. 13 senior Steeve Gabart (Miami, Fla.) crossing the line in 31:49.78 and walk-on Nick Sunseri (Raleigh, N.C.) finishing 15th with 31:52.81.
“We did a really good job,” said men’s head coach Bob Braman. “Our depth was really good today. Daniel Roberts was fantastic as the first American runner to come in. We really stepped up and the guys definitely redeemed themselves from the ACC Championships.”
The men’s team will now wait for an at-large bid to compete at nationals along with the women in just nine days.
“Like is said before, there are only two meets that count: regionals and nationals,” said Braman. “You can’t have the second without the first.”
Both the men and women placed 11 All-Regional runners with the women having 6 and men bringing in five.
For more information on Florida State athletics, go to www.seminoles.com.