Dec. 14, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State junior Susan Kuijken (Nijmegen, Netherlands) was crowned the 2008 European Cross Country Champion Under 23 earlier this morning. Kuijken represented her native country of the Netherlands while 65 other participants represented 18 countries around Europe in the 6K run.
“It wasn’t easy to win this race; cross country is never easy,” said Kuijken. “The start was very fast, but I’d made up my mind not to go for silver, only gold counts.”
Crossing the finish line with a relaxing few last steps and one of the biggest smiles on her face, Kuijken defeated her closest opponent, Britain’s Sarah Tunstall, by eight seconds with a time of 21:02. Competing on what she says is her favorite cross country course was not difficult for Kuijken as she ran on the same field as a teenager.
Still feeling the excitement from her second-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Nationals, Kuijken used her training and tactics there to prepare her for this.
“I knew I was in good shape and I could go for gold today because of my result in the NCAA nationals,” said Kuijken. “I have been training very well in Florida and now I want to prove in Europe I have made a lot of progress on the international scene.”
For more information on Florida State athletics, go to www.seminoles.com.