September 2, 2010 - by
‘Noles Get It Going Friday

Sept. 2, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s cross country teams will both be in action Friday, Sept. 3 in Boone, NC at the Covered Bridge Open in what is the opening meet of the 2010 season.

Coming off a national runner-up 2009 season, the No. 2 women’s squad is charged with the task this year of replacing one of the top distance runners in program history in Susan Kuijken.

Despite the challenge of replacing such an important piece to the team puzzle, head coach Karen Harvey is excited and optimistic about the new year thanks in large part to some trustworthy veterans.

“It is so important to have a good captain,” Harvey said. “And I feel like I have those girls in our two captains, Pilar McShine and Andi Palen. The girls completely respect them.” 

In addition to McShine, Pasca Cheruiyot returns as well as Amanda Winslow. Newcomers Astrid Leutert and Hannah Brooks are also expected to make an impact off the bat.

“They are serious about what they do,” Harvey said about her players. “You can tell that they don’t mind that the bar has been raised high. And they want to live up to that.”

While the women’s squad is eager to build off the best season in program history and replace a legend, the No. 24 men’s team is aiming towards continuing what has been a staggering streak.

For seven consecutive years the men have qualified for the national championship, which is a feat that less than 10 programs in the country are currently experiencing.

“That is really important to us,” men’s coach Bob Braman said. “We are really proud of that and we have to keep that streak going. This year we have depth and that is going to help us accomplish our goals.”

That depth that Coach Braman is referring to centers around standouts Matt Leeder and Mike Fout.

The men also return 2009 ACC Freshman of the Year Wes Rickman and a host of other valuable team members.

“We have seven, eight or nine guys that can run at a solid collegiate level,” Braman said.

The Covered Bridge Open begins Friday night. Stay tuned to for complete race results.

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