Oct. 16, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Once again, the Florida State women’s cross country team has climbed to its highest ranking in school history this week, landing at No. 3 on the USTFCCCA National Rankings following the team’s second-place performance at NCAA Pre-Nationals. The Seminoles’ runner-up position came largely as the result of Sophomore All-America Susan Kuijken’s first-place 6k run which earned her a third ACC Performer of the Week award for the season.
“It’s a tribute to Coach Harvey and what she’s done getting the ladies to the next level,” said head coach Bob Braman. “The key for us is can we keep it going? Can we stay healthy? Can we get every body at the same level in four weeks? But it says a lot about the program and how far we’ve come.”
Florida State entered the Pre-Nationals race in Terre Haute, Ind., ranked No. 11 in the country, but finished just 21 points behind the defending national champions, No. 1 Stanford. Kuijken crossed the line at 19:56, the second-fastest 6k time in school history. Senior Barbara Parker scored second for the Seminoles as she notched an 11th-place 20:39. Sophomore Hannah England came in 14th at 20:44, senior Debbie Huss finished 35th (21:02) and freshman Pilar McShine rounded out the top five in 62nd (21:22).
In just her second year with the Seminoles, Kuijken has proved herself to be one of the best runners in school history. She has won all three races she’s competed in this year, leaving her undefeated amongst regional and national competition. Last year, the Netherlands-native became Florida State’s first cross country All-America since 2003. Kuijken also earned All-America honors in track with a second-place finish in the 1500m at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
“For Susan it’s just been a storybook year, she’s won everything–and to win pre-nationals, that’s huge,” said Braman. “It was just a great win for Susan and it’s great for her to be recognized by the conference and it’s great for the conference to do so well on the national scale.”
Following a weekend off, Florida State will travel to Charlottesville, Va. for the ACC Championships.