Oct. 31, 2009
CARY, N.C. – The No. 6 ranked Florida State women dominated the 6k run at the WakeMed Soccer Park cross country field Saturday morning with its third-consecutive first place finish at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. Securing three top 10 finishes, including Susan Kuijken’s third consecutive ACC title, and two more ‘Noles in the top 15, FSU scored 37 points to win the crown. Florida State’s men also ran an impressive 8k run, taking third place with a score of 72 points while freshmen Wes Rickman highlighted the day for the ‘Noles as he was named 2009’s ACC Male Freshman of the Year.
Although the FSU women had numerous athletes running in their first ACC Championship race, that didn’t stop them from crushing the competition and earning the most All-ACC honors with five.
“I am really happy for Susan,” FSU women’s head coach Karen Harvey said. “I told her to enjoy this day and don’t think about tomorrow or nationals. It is so special for her to come out and win. She was a true captain. She led the team physically and mentally.”
For the third year in a row Kuijken controlled the course by staying in first place throughout the 6k and finished with a blistering time of 19:39.3. Co-captain Pilar McShine quickly followed in third place setting a new personal record with a time of 20:06.4 while newcomer Pasca Cheruiyot finished in sixth place with a time of 20:18.6 that also notes a personal record. Sophomore Jennifer Dunn guided the next group of ‘Noles in thirteenth place with a personal record time of 20:37.8 with freshmen Jessica Parry and Amanda Winslow following in 14th (20:40.7) and 16th (20:46.7) place, respectively. Kuijken, McShine, Cheruiyot, Dunn and Parry all earned All-ACC honors for their top 14 finishes.
“This was amazing,” Coach Harvey said. “I won’t deny that I was very nervous. We could have lost it in the last 600 meters with the hill, but they rallied. We don’t really quite train for something like this so I think that is what kept me up last night and so worried. The bottom line is that they are so talented and they really wanted this today. Even though they really weren’t quite prepared, they pulled it out and got it done.”
On the men’s front, No. 21 FSU not only improved its team finish from 2008, but also placed more athletes in the top 14 and earned three All-ACC honors. Team co-captain Matt Leeder paced the squad with a fifth place finish in 23:33.66 while other co-captain Daniel Roberts and newcomer Ciaran O’Lionard battled to the finish line and came in ninth (23:36.37) and tenth (23:38.80) place, respectively. ACC Male Freshman of the Year Rickman finished in 20th place with a time of 24:16.16.
“We just came out one point short of second from Virginia,” FSU men’s head coach Bob Braman said. “NC State ran unbelievably well and took first place. Although we were better than them two weeks ago, they stepped up really well. I am real pleased with the effort from the guys. We just need to get a little bit better on four and five. We are getting there, but we just aren’t there yet. I feel really good about the future as far as regionals and nationals. I think we are probably a top 20 team as we always are. We have a little but more work to do.”
For the complete release on the ACC Championships and to view the men and women’s results, please go to http://www.theacc.com/championships/09-cross-country-championship.html.
Florida State will now take a weekend off and continue training in Tallahassee for the NCAA Regional meet on November 14th.