Oct. 6, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Seminole women’s cross-country team travels to Lake Buena Vista, Fla. this weekend for the 9th Annual Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex on October 9, 2004. In 2003, 67 college teams and 222 high schools from across 19 states and Canada participated in the event. The race will consist of a 5K run for the collegiate women and an 8K run for the collegiate men on Saturday while the high school runners race a 5K run on Friday.
At the 2003 WDW Cross Country Classic, the men’s team finished 6th overall with an average time of 26:57.88 while the women finished 15th out of 32 colleges or universities. Then-freshman Meredith Urban (Davie, FL/Green Hope) led the Seminoles with a time of 19:38.14 while then-junior Mari Leitner (Pensacola, FL/Washington) finished 18 seconds later. On the men’s side, senior Jim Van Veen (Satellite Beach, FL/Satellite Beach) crossed the tape at 26:24.55 followed by classmate Shawn Patterson (Valparaiso, FL/Niceville) with a mark of 26:33.61
The Striders finished in third place at the Flrunners.com Invitational V in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, September 25, 2004. The Seminoles posted 75 points behind Tampa (24 points) and Florida Southern (64 points). Redshirt sophomore Cathleen Willy (Pembroke Pines, FL/Central Kitsap) finished first for the Seminoles, crossing the line in 9th place in a time of 19:46.35.
Senior Sydney Mondragon (Pueblo, CO/South) took 12th place, completing the 5K course in 19:57.48. She was followed by freshman Audrey Hand (Virginia Beach, VA/Kellam) whose time of 20:07.65 was good for 14th place. Adding to the scoring were redshirt-junior Suzanne Shepherd (Ellis, OK/Ellis) and freshman Lauren Kolakowski (Plant City, FL/Lakeland Christian), who finished in 21st and 28th place. Sophomore Stefanie Bechler (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) and junior Kristin Walls (Boynton Beach, FL/Atlantic) rounded out the top seven with 37th and 48th place finishes.
The women’s varsity squad is coming off a great race at the Notre Dame Invitational last weekend. On the women’s side, five runners ran lifetime bests for a 5K race. The women were the first unranked team to cross the line and beat preseason No. 23 Penn State and Florida, who finished in 21st place. Senior five-time All-American Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, CO/Palisade) completed the 5K course in 17:28, good for 27th place. Freshmen duo Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, VA/Christiansburg) and Laura Bowerman (Temple Terrace, FL/King) took 41st and 42nd in personal best marks of 17:42.