Nov. 1, 2008
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Florida State women’s cross country took top honors this morning as they were named the 2008 ACC Champions in the 6K conference run. The Seminoles grabbed five out of the top ten spots while also having two runners set personal records. The men’s team came in at fourth with one Seminole coming in the top ten.
Leading the women was junior Susan Kuijken who crossed the finish line at 20:11.0. Coming in shortly after was senior Lesley Van Miert who placed fourth with 20:32.0 and just three seconds shy of repeating her personal best record was sophomore Pilar McShine at sixth with 20:43.0. Linzi Snow came dashing in at seventh with 20:57.0 and finishing off the top ten for the Seminoles was senior Lydia Willemse at ninth with 20:59.9-a personal best. All five ladies earned All-ACC for their times in today’s race.
“We are really happy with the win,” said women’s head coach Karen Harvey. “I have been saying all week long we can not just focus on the outcome and they took that seriously today. I challenged them last night to really pack up as a group and they did it.”
Having the race of her life by debuting in the top 15 and also setting a personal best record was junior Christina Woytalewicz with 21:21.8. Woytalewicz was short sixth-tenths of a second from earning All-ACC honors.
“This was truly the race of her life,” said Harvey. “I told her earlier today this would be the race of her life and I meant it. She massively improved today. Having all six of these girls improve is what we needed.”
On the men’s front, sophomore Matt Leeder led the Seminoles coming in at seventh with 24:36.5. Steeve Gaabart was the next Seminole in at 24:48.6 while senior Luke Gunn held tight with 24:58.2. Despite having fewer team points than last year’s ACC Championships, the men finished at fourth with 80.
“I think it was a tough day,” said men’s head coach Bob Braman. “The sad thing is we were winning the race at three miles. We have some guys hurt and once we get them healthy, we will be back.”
Both teams will now set their focus to regionals in two weeks held in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 15th then the NCAA Championships on November 24th in Terre Haute, Ind.
“There is 23 days to go until nationals. We need to get stronger, fitter, more committed and stay healthy,” said Harvey. “This is going to be harder than any other meet we have had. I see our team making big improvements.”
For more information on Florida State athletics, go to www.seminoles.com