BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Florida State senior Colleen Quigley moved to the front of the field from the start of Saturday’s Paul Short Run Gold race and pulled away over the final 800 meters for the 6,000-meter victory in a blazing time of 19:49 over the rolling Goodman Campus Course.
While Quigley was rolling to her second consecutive victory of the season, the sixth-ranked Seminoles suffered their first team setback of the season, placing third behind a dominant performance from Canada’s Guelph University and fifth-ranked Georgetown’s tightly packed top seven.
The Seminoles were strong at the front with senior Pippa Woolven finishing 11th (20:19), followed by senior teammate Linden Hall (24th, 20:43) and junior Georgia Peel (32nd, 20:59). Along with Quigley, who came through the mile mark in a small lead pack at 5:20, they got out quickly on what turned out to be a beautiful fall day after overnight rains.
Quigley was part of a breakaway group between 3,000 and 4,000 meters, which included two Guelph runners and Iona’s Rosie Clarke. The St. Louis, Mo. native, however, was controlling the pace and with 1,000-meters to go, sped away.
“She’s running above her fitness level,” FSU coach Karen Harvey said of Quigley. “When you look at some of the great runners that have run on that course, her time is right up there with some of the greats. I know for a fact, she could improve a ton from here…
“That’s what makes that so outstanding; she went out there and pounded from the gun and just competed. She’s such a serious competitor that she can pull that out of herself.”
Quigley’s winning time was the third-fastest in meet history, behind course record-holder Marie-Louise Asselin of West Virginia (19:38, 2008) and Darmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, who won in 19:44 last year in a season she capped with an NCAA individual title.
Harvey wasn’t overly pleased with the team performance, estimating that only three of the nine Seminoles she sent to the starting line had strong performances.
Woolven was one of trio, closing especially strong over the last 1,000 meters. “Pippa moved through the field; from 3k on she moved through the field,” Harvey said.
No team had an answer for a Guelph squad that placed four runners in the top seven and finished with a scant 48-point total. Located in the Province of Ontario, Guelph is not a member of the NCAA.
Georgetown edged Florida State 127-145 on the strength of five finishers within a 36-second spread, with the winning swing coming with a 34th-place scoring finish by its fifth runner. That proved to be more than enough to outdistance the Seminoles, who had a gap of 1:39 between Quigley and their fifth scoring runner. The Hoyas’ success came without two of their top runners in the lineup.
The Seminoles came into the meet hoping to find a fifth runner behind a strong top four. That search will continue when FSU takes the course at the Wisconsin Invitational in two weeks.
Redshirt freshman Bridget Blake was FSU’s seventh scorer in a 6k personal-best 21:27, which was good for 77th. Harvey praised the performance of fifth-year senior Chelsi Woodruff, who likewise came through with an all-time best (21:38) to score an 88th-place finish. Carly Thomas (121st, 21:57) closed out FSU’s top seven.
The Seminoles will be in action again next week at home for the 32nd FSU Invitational at Apalachee Regional Park. The college races will be contested Friday (6:20 and 6:40 p.m.), followed by a 10-race high school schedule on Saturday, which will also serve as the Pre-State meet.