Oct. 27, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State men’s (No. 11) and women’s cross country teams head to the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in College Park, Maryland on October 30.
Two weeks ago, the Seminole men faced eight programs ranked in the top 30 of the NCAA MONDO National Poll, finishing ahead of four teams including 12-time conference champion and higher-ranked (then-No. 8) N.C. State. FSU ran faster than the Wolfpack at the NCAA Pre-National Meet for the first time in both programs’ histories, taking fifth place by 60 points. Junior Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling) finished ahead of the 2003 ACC Cross Country Champion, N.C. State’s Andy Smith by 27 seconds.
The women’s team recorded a 13th place finish at the NCAA Pre-National meet. The squad also posted a record showing at the Notre Dame Invite with five runners posting 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.
Junior Sean Burris (Rockledge, FL/USF) is quietly having a strong season running an 8K personal best time at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Meet. The mark was the seventh fastest time in Florida State school history. The Rockledge High School graduate recorded top five FSU finishes in every meet this season.
Adding depth to the varsity lineup are seniors Ian Hornabrook (Southport, Australia/Rend Lake College) and Eddy Rodriguez (Miami, FL/FIU) who return to the ACCs after helping the 2003 squad to its best league team finish in school history. Hornabrook was one of two All-ACC finishers last season while Rodriguez was the fifth person to cross the line for FSU.
Sophomore Tom Lancashire (Bolton, England/Turton), the youngest of the group, returns from the 2003 history-setting conference team , looking to continue to get faster as the season progresses.
On the women’s side, Florida State showed the nation that a varsity team comprised of two seniors, one junior, one sophomore and three freshmen, could run with the best of them. The Tribe finished 13th overall ahead of 24 NCAA Division I programs. Senior five-time All-American Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, CO/Palisade) finished first for FSU for the fourth time this season, completing the 6K course in 21:15.9 for 30th place.
Freshmen Laura Bowerman (Temple Terrace, FL/King) and Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, VA/Christiansburg) continue to have outstanding rookie campaigns. Bowerman has finished second for the Seminoles in three of four meets she has run in this season. She ran a personal best 5K time at the Notre Dame Invite, one of the oldest and most prestigious cross country races of the season. Hagen has run right beside Bowerman, crossing the finish line third in three meets in 2004. Hagen ran a personal best time of 17:42 at the Notre Dame Invite, good for 41st place. She was the second finisher across the line at the meet.
In the middle of the lineup are two of the more experience runners on the team – junior Jenny Gomez (Miami, FL/Lourdes) and sophomore Meredith Urban (Davie, FL/Green Hope (N.C.)). Combined, the pair add three seasons of college running to a young lineup. Gomez was key in the Seminoles 13th place finish at Notre Dame, stepping into the number five scoring position. Her time boosted FSU into a top 15 team finish in a race that is a preview for the national meet. Urban has stepped into the varsity lineup this season after running with the Striders group last year, impacting the Seminoles’ top seven greatly.
The races begin at 10:00 a.m. for the women’s followed by the men’s team at 11:00 a.m.