October 17, 2009 - by
Seminoles Take Second

Oct. 17, 2009

The Florida State cross country teams made the trip to Terre Haute, Ind. Saturday and turned in solid performances at the NCAA Pre-National meet. The Seminole women placed second overall with 135 team points thanks to a pair of top 10 finishes by Susan Kuijken (2nd, 20:20.8) and Pasca Cheruiyot (7th, 20:36.6). The men were led by Matt Leeder who finished 18th overall as the Seminoles finished in 8th place.

Senior Susan Kuijken in her first action of the 2009 season ran a 20:20.8 to finish in second place overall behind Blue race winner Jenny Barringer of Colorado who ran a 19:50.9.

“Susan really helped her teammates today,” head coach Karen Harvey said. “I’m really pleased with how the team came together today, I can’t wait to see when we are firing on all cylinders.”

Transfer Pasca Cheruiyot stepped up for Seminoles in the two-spot as she ran a 20:36.6 to place seventh overall and give FSU a good start at the top. Pilar McShine was the third Seminole to cross the line Saturday as she clocked a 21:10.3 for 20th overall.

The big surprise for coach Karen Harvey was Jennifer Dunn who was fresh off a win at the Seminole Invitational just a week ago. Dunn finished 40th overall with a time of 21:30.1.

“Pasca and Jennifer were absolutely amazing, they ran the best races of their career today,” Harvey added.

Closing out the scoring for Florida State was freshman Amanda Winslow who placed 66th as she ran a 21:49.4. Narrowly behind Winslow was transfer Andrea Palen (71st, 21:52.4) and freshman Jessica Parry (88th, 21:58.9)

“At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves what could have been,” Harvey asked. “Pilar and Jessica have been battling illness for quite awhile but Jennifer, Amanda and Andrea all ran really hard today.”

The Seminole men finished eighth overall with a strong team showing. Matt Leeder was the top finisher among the men as the junior placed 18th overall in the 8K race. Leeder ran the men’s white race in 24:07.7.

“We ran a solid race, we came out with the top performance in the ACC,” head coach Bob Braman said. “We beat our rivals and picked up some wins. Leeder ran a really good race and we are starting to put the pieces together.”

Three other Seminoles finished with a sub-25 minute times with senior Daniel Roberts placing second on the team with a time of 24:19.1, which was good for 34th place.

Finishing third for the ‘Noles was Ciaran O’Lionard who placed 56th with a time of 24:37.9. Freshman Wes Rickman continued his impressive initial campaign as he claimed 70th place in 24:47.0.

Closing out the scoring for FSU was Mike Fout with a time of 25:13.3 for 110th overall, while Nick Maedel claimed 143rd place in 25:36.0.

“Fout had a solid first race back coming off injury for us today,” Braman added.

The races were split evenly on both the men’s and women’s side as each race had some of the top teams in the country.

The Seminoles will have a week off before making the trek to Cary, N.C. for the ACC Championships set for Halloween morning.

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