Oct. 25, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Still riding the waves of a stellar performance at the NCAA Pre-National meet, Florida State will travel to Panorama Farms at the University of Virginia Saturday, Oct. 27 for the cross country ACC Championships. Both teams will be gunning for the Seminoles’ first cross country conference title starting with the men’s 8k race at 10 a.m. and the women’s 6k at 11 a.m.
“The women have a real shot to make history,” said head coach Bob Braman. “We’ve never won the ACC Championship. Right now they’re the highest ranked ACC team, so they’re going to go in and just try to win it on the field. It’s very exciting for them.”
Coming off a second-place performance at Pre-Nationals, the No. 3 Seminole women are on pace to make history at the conference meet. Ahead of No. 23 NC State, No. 25 Virginia Tech and No. 28 Boston College, Florida State leads the ACC in the national rankings.
Sophomore All-America Susan Kuijken will spearhead the Seminoles’ effort, looking for her fourth-straight first-place finish of the season. A three-time ACC Performer of the Week this season, Kuijken clocked the second-fastest 6k time in school history–the fastest in the ACC this year–at Pre-Nationals. But competition at the ACC event will be fierce, especially from UNC’s Bree Felnagle, who finished one second behind Kuijken at Pre-Nationals.
“Susan’s going to have a showdown with Felnagle,” said Braman. “They are definitely co-favorites to win. We’ve never had an individual champion on the women’s side, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
On the men’s side, Florida State–ranked second in the region–will have to beat two nationally ranked ACC teams, No. 7 NC State and hosts, No. 11 Virginia. The men finished 14th at pre-nationals without their senior captains, Luke Gunn and Javier Cruz, both of whom were nursing minor injuries.
“This meet provides the men with two opportunities,” said Braman. “The first is to keep getting better and the second is to give us a chance to beat some very high-ranked teams. Picking up a win over NC State or Virginia before the NCAA South Region Championships would be huge for our men’s team.”