Sept. 3, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State cross country teams will take their first steps of the 2009 season Friday, September 4, at the Covered Bridge Open in Boone, N.C. Host Appalachian State will welcome eight other schools including Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina, North Florida and Queens University of Charlotte. With the women starting the 5K race at 5 p.m. and the men’s 8K following at 6 p.m., both Seminole squads look to continue their streaks on the State Farm Fields.
On the women’s front, women’s head coach Karen Harvey has enlisted senior Amanda Quick (Tampa, Fla.) and junior Christina Woytalewicz (Brandon, Fla.) to guide the Seminoles on the warpath. Sophomore’s Jennifer Dunn (Decatur, Ala.) and Kacey Gibson (New Castle, Pa.) are also among the Seminoles slated to compete. All four women finished in the Top 10 at the 2008 meet with Quick in third place (18:29), Gibson in sixth place (18:45), Dunn finishing in eighth place (19:05) and Woytalewicz rounding off the Top 10 in tenth place (19:07).
“We are using this as a training race and to bond as a team,” said Harvey. “We are using it to build some confidence for some of our athletes who didn’t compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championship.”
Leading the men’s team will be captains Daniel Roberts (Vicksburg, Mich.) and Matt Leeder (Brockville, Ontario). Representing the Garnet and Gold for the first time will be junior Ciaran O’Lionard (Macroom-Co.Cork, Ireland), senior Jared Bell (Los Angeles, Calif.) and freshman Wes Rickman (Peyton, Colo.)
“One of our biggest competitors will be Queens College from Charlotte,” said FSU men’s head coach Bob Braman. “They are really good and are a national cross country power. North Carolina is also going to be there and they will be a battle which is great because we need a challenge. We are really excited to get going. We are going to run everyone with the exception of Mike Fout and Justin Harbor who are still healing from injuries. I am really excited to see how the young guys do. They really want to compete and represent Florida State.”
At the 2008 Covered Bridge Open both Seminole squads captured first place with the men posting four top 10 finishes while the women brought in seven. www.seminoles.com