TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Florida State senior Colleen Quigley became just the third runner in school history to earn All-American honors three times, sealing that distinction Saturday with a 23rd place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Quigley, one of the most decorated Seminoles of all time, battled a deep and talented field at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course to finish the 6,000-meter race in 20:29.9. The performance puts her alongside four-time Seminole All-American Susan Kuijken and three-time honoree Amanda Winslow.
The Florida State women placed 12th in the 31-team field with 393 points; just 11 shy of 10th place. The Seminoles, who placed second at both the ACC and NCAA South Region Championship meets, finished higher than any other conference or regional team by a wide margin. The Seminoles came into the meet ranked 13th nationally.
“We had a solid performance by our team today,” FSU women’s coach Karen Harvey said. “We have been through a lot of adversity and I feel like they rallied together.”
Seniors Pippa Woolven and Linden Hall followed Quigley through the head-wind to the finish line, placing 68th (21:00.9) and 83rd (21:06.7), respectively. Junior Georgia Peel (148th, 21:31.9) and redshirt freshman Bridget Blake (185th, 21:48.1) rounded out the FSU scorers.
Senior Chelsi Woodruff placed 225th (22:15.4), while freshman Katie Slater was 244th (22:56.5).
“I’m really happy with Colleen receiving All-American honors and Pippa had a huge improvement over last year,” Harvey added. “With her [Quigley’s] performance, she has joined some of the FSU greats.”
Top-ranked Michigan State won the team title with 85 points, while Iona’s Kate Avery was the individual winner in 19:31.6.
The 28th-ranked men were not as fortunate in their attempt to finish higher than their national ranking.
“It was a tough day for the Seminole men,” FSU men’s coach Bob Braman said. “It has been a tough week emotionally between the tragedy on campus and then losing Glen Yarham, one of our co-captains who we hoped would make it back (from injury). That’s been a trying part of it, and then Jack Goodwin went down with an injury at the halfway point while running a pretty good race.”
Junior Zak Seddon was the top finisher for the Florida State men, which placed 31st in the field.
Seddon was 152nd (31:58.0) overall. Freshman Michael Hall (188th, 32:26.3) and grad students Tyler Udland (196th, 32:32.0) and Antony Taylor (197th, 32:32.2) followed close behind. Otniel Teixeira (240th, 34:15.2) rounded out the scoring five, with Stanley Linton (242nd, 34:27.1) close behind in the 10,000-meter race.
Goodwin, who was running at the front of the lead pack a quarter of the way into the race, was forced to drop out with an injury at the halfway point.
“The young guys didn’t handle that first NCAA meet all that well with the exception of Mike Hall,” Braman said. “It’s difficult as a competitor to know you’re up against it because you have one of your top guys out, and then you run past a guy at halfway who is one of your leaders. That’s hard. Those things combined to kind of snow-ball us.”
No. 1 Colorado claimed the team title, while Oregon sophomore Edward Cheserek won his second consecutive individual title In 30:19.4.
“Maybe it would have been a little fool’s gold for me to think we were ready and OK,” Braman said. “Given all that we had to deal with, that’s a compliment to the women’s team. With Linden being injured and fighting through it … and they also had to deal with the emotional roller coaster. They did a real nice job.”