September 29, 2006 - by
Seminoles Finish Strong at Notre Dame Invitational

Sept. 29, 2006

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Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in their first big meet of the season as they ran in the Notre Dame Invitational at Notre Dame, with both teams finishing in the top ten. The women placed fourth overall with a team score of 124 and the men placed sixth with 165 total points.

In the women’s race, freshman Susan Kuijken (Steoelijk Gymnasium) was the first to score points for the Seminoles as she was the second to cross the line with a time of 16:52. “Susan’s really good,” Head Coach Bob Braman stated. “Placing second is huge for her; she beat a ton of All-Americans.” Also scoring points for the women were sophomore Barbara Parker (Loughborough) with a time of 17:13, junior transfer Amy Huss (Vanderbilt) with a mark of 17:14, and senior Abi Wilshire (Birmingham) and junior co-captain Kirsten Hagen (Christiansburg) rounded-out the scoring as they clocked in at 17:41 and 17:44, respectively.

“This was a great meet for the women; they did an excellent job with the fourth place finish.” Braman remarked. “Illinois was fourth in the country last year and we beat them today. We also finished ahead of our regional rivals Florida, Georgia and UNC Chapel Hill. So we beat a lot of good teams, I’m really pleased with them. This performance should move us into the top ten in the rankings.”

For the men, Senior Andrew Lemoncello (Stirling) finished fourth with a time of 22:48 in his first race of the season. Fellow co-captain junior Tom Lancashire (Turton) was in eighth place across the line with an even time of 24:00. Rounding out the scoring for the men were junior Luke Gunn (Birmingham) with a time of 24:25, junior transfer Mark Buckingham (Sheffield) clocking in at 25:01 and junior Chris Nickinson (Booker T. Washington) with a 25:02 mark.

“The men did a good job for the first meet that counts,” explained Coach Braman. “We struggled with Buckingham who came into the meet with a horrible chest cold. He is normally a top-ten finisher and wasn’t there tonight. His being sick really cost us.” The Notre Dame Invite was the first competition as a Seminole for Buckingham who transferred this season from England.

Although coming just five points shy of beating rivals Florida and Notre Dame is disappointing for the men’s squad, they are definitely ahead of where they were this time last year, which is right where Braman expected them to be. While the Seminoles have been unsuccessful in beating the Gators at the ND Invite, they are undefeated against their in-state rival at the regional meet which takes place this year on November 11th.

Florida State’s B-Team competes this Saturday, September 30th, in Auburn, Ala. at the Auburn Invitational. That meet will be followed by the FSU Invitational, which the Seminoles host on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at the Miccosukee Greenway.

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