SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Of the 10 nationally ranked men’s cross country teams entered in Friday’s Notre Dame Invitational Blue race, No. 24 Florida State trailed eight of them in this week’s USTFCCCA rankings.
That won’t be the case next week.
The Seminoles got a strong ninth-place finish from Glen Yarham, with Tyler Udland close behind in 16th, leading the team to a fourth-place finish over a soggy course that was shortened from five miles due to two days of heavy rain.
Finishing with 162 points, the Seminoles knocked off five ranked teams, including No. 16 NC State, No. 18 Tulsa, No. 20 Princeton, No. 22 Southern Utah and No. 23 Eastern Kentucky. FSU also defeated No. 25 Colorado State.
Michigan (No. 19) won the team title with 97 points, followed by No. 10 BYU (112) and No. 15 New Mexico (125).
“We were definitely a tired team,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “We trained hard, didn’t back off for the race and we got some wins. I’m very pleased with that.”
Yarham was most impressive in what was realistically his first big-stage cross country meet as a Seminole. The redshirt junior from Australia overcame a stumble in the first 100 yards, which left him with a calf strain for the duration.
“In spite of all of that, with 2000 meters to go he was leading the race,” said Braman, who watched Yarham finish in 23:32.0. “You’re going to see some big things from Glen Yarham this year.”
Udland, an FSU grad student who starred at Princeton for three seasons, was solid start-to-finish, closing in 23:42.5. Junior Jack Goodwin, who was cleared to compete by the NCAA just 26 hours before the gun sounded, finished 32nd (23:54.8). It was an adventurous trip for the transfer from the University of Bedfordshire, just in order get to the starting line for his first competition on U.S. soil.
“Tyler looked tired but he still finished 16th,” Braman said. “Jack had the “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” [route] to get here. He got in at 3 [a.m.] eastern last night in Chicago. He passed a lot of guys at the end…I really like what I see from Jack Goodwin. He was probably not in the top 50 with a mile to go and just kept picking people off.”
Redshirt sophomore Stanley Linton (24:13.4) and Zak Seddon (23:14.0) took separate routes to finished 52nd and 53rd, respectively.
“Zak looked tired and was a little bit sick with a head cold,” Braman explained. “He got out too fast and [the pack] came on him. It was a great race for Stanley Linton…At the halfway mark Stanley was not in the top 100, so I’m really pleased with the way he moved through.”
Grad student and UMass transfer Antony Taylor (107th, 24:35.2) and freshman Michael Hall (129th, 24:48.0) rounded out FSU’s top seven on a day that began with ran and ended with strong winds and sinking temperatures.
“We did what we came to do – to get some wins,” Braman said. “We beat some really good ranked teams, which is going to pay off at the end of the year…That’s probably as good as we could expect to be for the first Friday in October.”