Oct. 28, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s cross country squads came out strong in the ACC Championships, held today in Raleigh, N.C. The meet, hosted by NC State, featured many of the top teams in the country. FSU managed to finish sixth in the women’s meet and seventh in the men’s meet. Both squads bettered their point total from last season.
“Our women’s team fought hard out there, they were inspired,” FSU head coach Bob Brayman said. “We improved 90-points from last season’s ACC meet. I think that reflects more of an improvement in this team than the fact that they finished one spot higher in the rankings.”
The story of the day for FSU, as it has been all season, was freshman sensation Amy Pleckaitis. Pleckaitis led the Seminoles, crossing the finish line in a team-best 18:52.40. Her time, just .4 seconds off the next closest competitor, launched her into ninth place and All-ACC honors. Pleckaitis earned the only ACC honors on the men’s or women’s squad this season.
“I’m not too sure how I feel about my performance today,” Pleckaitis said. “I just know what I did right and what I need to improve. I am still trying to make sense of it. I just run against myself. I try to do the best I can and any honors or awards just makes me feel better.”
Pleckaitis was followed by a strong performance from junior Brooke Bastien. A transfer from Jacksonville University, she notched the second-best finish for the Seminoles, crossing the line in 19:02.40 for a 14th-place finish. With two meet-scorers in the top-15, FSU followed with Katie Jeffrey in 29th-place to close out the top-30 for FSU. The top-three Seminoles were followed by Kim Winn at 37 (19:38.60), Cynthia Campbell in 39th-place (19:46.10), Andrea Dulmage finishing 46th (20:05.80), Misty Harper at 54 (20:23.2) and Beth Luekens closed out the Tribe-runners with a 62nd-place finish (20:58.90)
“Amy had a great day,” Brayman said. “She fought with the top athletes in the country, and she competed well with them. We need to do a little bit more and get a little bit better to be where we want to be.”
On the men’s side, the Noles bettered their score from a year ago by a better place finish, as well as a 30-point decrease. Leading FSU was sophomore Dave Guerra, who managed to fight his way to FSU’s only top-30 finish. Guerra crossed the line in 26:20.1 for a 26th-place finish. Guerra was followed by a cluster of Noles in the mid-40’s, as Tommy Kunish (27:09.9), Danny Fritz (27:14.8), Dan Clark (27:22.80) and Ryan Hicks (27:32.60 finished 41, 42, 44 and 46, respectively.
“We improved 30 points on the men’s side, but some really bad things happened that prevented us from finishing fourth or fifth,” Brayman said. “Our No.1 and No. 2 runners didn’t score for us and our No. 3 runner got stepped on, lost his shoe and couldn’t recover. It was disappointing, but we have made progress. We just have to get better. We really have to practice and improve to compete in this conference.”