Nov. 1, 2003
The Florida State men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Winston-Salem, NC to face conference opponents in the 2003 ACC Championships. The men’s team finished in second place behind perennial champion No. 17 N.C State with 66 points. The FSU women matched their highest finish, placing fifth with 135 points.
On the women’s side, senior Vicky Gill ran steadily in the lead pack to finish second, behind defending national champion North Carolina’s Shalane Flanagan. Gill finished 27 seconds behind her with a time of 19:49.5.
Junior Joep Tigchelaar led the Tribe, placing fourth overall en route to his third All-ACC nod in as many seasons. Junior transfer Ian Hornabrook crossed the tape eighth overall earning his first All-ACC honor.
“With N.C. State being so good our main goal was to run together and go after the title,” said fourth year head coach Bob Braman.
“The guys ran really well today. Our highest prior to this was fifth so we’re very happy with this finish in addition to our two All-Conference honorees. We’re extremely happy. We went up ten points from last year which is definitely a progression,” said Braman.
Tigchelaar has been a strong force for FSU since his freshman year. One of only two Noles from last season running in this year’s meet has set the pace for the Noles all season. He was named ACC Freshman of the Year in addition to earning a spot on the All-ACC team in 2001. In his sophomore season, he finished sixth overall at the ACC Championships meet, placed fifth in the NCAA South Regionals and earned a spot at nationals.
This season, even with a strong supporting class, he leads the pack. The Macharen, Netherlands native placed 16th overall at the Great American Cross Country Festival, leading FSU with a time of 26:14.3. In the Noles history setting ninth place finish two weeks ago at NCAA Pre-Nationals, he cleared the 8K course in a personal collegiate best time of 24:03.1, good for 27th place overall.
Hornabrook comes from Rend Lake Community College in Ina, Illinois. He is a two-time NJCAA Division II Cross Country Champion (2001 and 2002) originally from Queensland, Australia. This season, Hornabrook has a twelfth place finish in a time of 15:56.9 at the Mountaineer Open and a fourth place finish in a time of 25:11:55 at the Florida Intercollegiate Championships. At the Great American Cross Country Festival, Hornabrook finished 46th overall and second for FSU in a time of 26:49. At the NCAA Pre-Nationals, Hornabrook finished in 77th place (24:42.2), a collegiate best.
“Ian ran his best race for us. He really came through running his lifetime best on a tough course,” said Braman.
Sophomore Kevin Cook finished 14th overall after a 37th place mark last season. Cook finished the hilly course in 25:01.3. Freshman Luke Beevor rounded out the top 20 finishes with a time of 25:16.1, good for 18th place.
Adding to the men’s scoring platoon were junior transfer Eddy Rodriguez finishing 22nd in a time of 25:24.5, Tom Lancashire who ran his best time of the year placing 43rd in a time of 26:01.5 and junior Shawn Patterson who crossed the line in 26:59.1.
“To get Kevin Cook in the top 15 shows that he can run with the good people. Luke was someone we couldn’t have done it without. He ran for us today through an injury. Tom also ran well, running his best race of the year. By season’s end, he’ll be there to help us out,” said Braman.
The North Carolina women’s cross country team won the 2003 ACC Cross Country Championship with 40 points. Senior Shalane Flanagan finished first as she won her fourth consecutive ACC title with a time of 19:22.8 in the 6k race. Overall, the Seminole women tied their prior ACC Championships high of fifth place.
“On the women’s side, Gill ran a lifetime best. I’m so proud of her. She runs so well. She stayed with Shalane and tried to beat her. For most of the race, she was eight seconds behind her and fell back at the end,” said Braman of the Lancashire, England native.
Other finishers for FSU were junior Natalie Hughes, junior Anne Clinton, senior Helen Hofstede, freshman Heather Clark, senior Rachel Marsh and sophomore Jenny Gomez. Hughes finished in a time of 21:34.3 for 24th place, Clinton, crossed the tape in a time of 21:56.3, placing 32nd, and Hofstede who placed 38th in a time of 22:12.6. Clark (39th, 22:15.4), Marsh (42nd, 22:19.0) and Gomez (46th, 22:51.7) rounded out the scoring for the Noles.
“Natalie and Helen, our solid 2-3, were under the weather today, which made it tough on them. Anne Clinton, Rachel Marsh and Jenny Gomez ran lifetime bests. For our 5-6-7, to run well overall against the top teams in the country makes the difference,” said Braman.
Today, neither team hurt their chances for Regionals or Nationals. They supported their case especially racing against a group that consists of many of the top teams in the country. Going into this, we knew this was the beginning. We all know we have to run well at Regionals in two weeks. That’s where are focus is,” concluded Braman.
The next step in the championship season for Florida State is the NCAA South Regionals on November 15, 2003 in Auburn, AL.– www.seminoles.com –