Oct. 14, 2004
Terre Haute, Ind. – The Florida State men’s (No. 18) and women’s cross country teams travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the 2004 NCAA Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday, October 16. The meet allows some of the top programs in the nation the chance to preview the field of teams and the course for the upcoming NCAA National Championships race. The meet, hosted by Indiana State University, takies place at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
In 2003, Vicky Gill, the 2002 NCAA Pre-National Champion, crossed the tape in third place in a time of 19:56, three seconds behind overall champion Alicia Craig of Stanford. Festival. Then-junior Natalie Hughes finished in 18th place with a time of 20:59 in a group filled with 21 of the nations top 30 teams. Hughes improved on last year’s individual finish of 81st place while shaving a minute of her 2002 time.
The men followed suit that season finishing first among the four ACC schools (Duke, Virginia and Maryland) in the 8K purple race. Joep Tigchelaar lead the men to a ninth place overall finish (318 points) with a time of 24:04 good for a individual finish of 27th place. Then-freshman Luke Beevor placed 66th (24:37) followed by then-sophomore Kevin Cook – 70th place (24:39)and then-junior Eddy Rodriguez – 79th place (24:44). Rookie Tom Lancashire (208th), who crossed the tape in 26:19, rounded out of the top seven scorers.
The women’s varsity squad is coming off a great race at the Notre Dame Invitational last weekend. On the women’s side, five runners ran lifetime bests for a 5K race. The women were the first unranked team to cross the line and beat preseason No. 23 Penn State and Florida, who finished in 21st place. Senior five-time All-American Natalie Hughes (Grand Junction, CO/Palisade) completed the 5K course in 17:28, good for 27th place. Freshmen duo Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, VA/Christiansburg) and Laura Bowerman (Temple Terrace, FL/King) took 41st and 42nd in personal best marks of 17:42.
The men’s team had one of its best outings of the season at the Notre Dame Invitational, finishing in sixth place ahead of two ranked opponents against seven teams in the MONDO Men’s Cross Country poll. Junior transfer Andrew Lemoncello (St. Andrews, Scotland/Stirling) finished in fourth place overall, one second off the fastest 6K time in school history. His mark of 23:48 is second to Larry Green’s time run in 1980.
The races begin at 11:00 a.m. for the women’s 6K Blue Division followed by the white division at 11:35 a.m. The men’s blue and white teams begin at 12:10 p.m. and 12:50 p.m., respectively.
After Pre-Nationals, Florida State heads to the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships on Saturday, October 30, 2004, hosted by the University of Maryland.