Dec. 11, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference women’s cross country championship with an NCAA South Region title and an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Seminoles swept the conferences two major individual awards for a second consecutive year.
Junior Colleen Quigley has been named ACC Performer of the Year, while Karen Harvey earned her record-tying seventh consecutive ACC Coach of the Year honor. They were selected based on the results of a league-wide vote of coaches.
“Colleen is a master of timing,” Harvey said of Quigley, who followed up a runner-up finish at the ACC Championship by claiming the South Region individual title and placing sixth at the NCAA Championship meet. “She was able to improve throughout the season and really turned up her focus and intensity during the championship season perfectly.
“Colleen capped off an outstanding fall with the second-highest finish at NCAA’s by a Seminole.”
Harvey’s work in helping the Seminoles claim a sixth consecutive ACC title was no small chore. Hit hard by graduation, her seventh FSU team featured just two returnees from the top seven from the 2012 squad – Quigley and Georgia Peel – and was facing the deepest conference field ever following the expansion.
She reworked FSU’s training program specifically geared to have the Seminoles at their best for the stretch run and the team, behind co-captains Linden Hall and Quigley, delivered a near-perfect performance. The `Noles won seven team titles in nine meets, falling only to Georgetown at the Indiana State/Pre-Nationals Invitational in the regular season, before placing eighth at the NCAA Championships.
“I would really like to recognize our athletic trainers and assistant coaches and managers,” Harvey said. “We had an incredible staff this fall and it literally took all of our talents and care to have our team reach their goals.”
Harvey joins long-time NC State coach Rollie Geiger as the only ACC coach – men or women – to be honored as Coach of the Year seven consecutive seasons.
Quigley played no small role in leading the way.
After finishing second to teammate Hannah Walker in the first two meets of the season, Quigley began her surge with a runner-up performance at the Notre Dame Invitational, covering the 5000-meter course in 16:52.2. A week later she set a new Apalachee Regional Park course record (16:55.33) by winning the FSU Invitational in what amounted to a controlled race effort. The St. Louis, Mo. native finished fifth overall at the Indiana State/Pre-National Invitational, posting a time of 20:13.64 over the 6000-meter course which would host the NCAA Championships a month later.
Despite a runner-up finish to Duke’s Juliet Bottorff at the ACC Championships, Quigley (20:13.9) guided the Seminoles to a 13-point victory over Virginia, fulfilling one of the major preseason goals. Two weeks later at the NCAA South Regional meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala., she used a tremendous closing kick to race past 2013 World Championship 1500-meter qualifier Cory McGee for the individual title (19:58.55). More importantly, the Seminoles claimed their third consecutive regional team title by a whopping 81-point margin.
At the NCAA Championship meet, in windy, muddy and frigid conditions, Quigley stayed with the lead pack throughout and raced home to a sixth-place finish, tops among all ACC athletes, male or female at the championship meet. In fact, only four-time All-American Susan Kuijken has placed higher on the national championship stage than Quigley, who earned her fifth consecutive All-American honor for either cross country or track and field.