Sept. 2, 1997
TALLAHASSE, Fla. – The 1997 Florida State men’s cross country team features a combination of experienced veterans and newcomers that are ready to contribute immediately. The team captains will be David Ogletree and Reid Montini while a pair of junior transfers – Michael Maier and Aaron Scheer give the Seminoles a lineup that hopes to improve on last year’s seventh place ACC finish.
“I think this team is better than last year’s squad going into the season,” said head coach Scott Irving. “We have a solid core with Montini and Ogletree and one of our best recruiting classes since I’ve been at Florida State.”
Ogletree, coming off a hamstring injury, is a runner that possesses unlimited potential. The senior took a redshirt season in 1995, but showed signs of returning to his old form last year. Montini is a junior in terms of eligibility, but will graduate this year with a biological science degree. He was FSU’s fifth runner at the ACC Championships and will work on a higher finish this year when the ACC’s will be held in Tallahassee.
The top newcomer is junior transfer Michael Maier from Germany. Maier owns a personal best 8K time of 24:50 (the best mark on the 1997 squad by almost one minute) and should be able to quickly adjust to the new climates and temperatures of Florida.
“Michael will step in and fill the number one spot,” said Irving. “He has a chance to be one of the top runners in school history.”
Another transfer that will enroll as a junior is Aaron Scheer who spent the last two seasons at the University of Nebraska. Scheer was the number five runner at the NCAA Championships last season as the Cornhuskers placed seventh in the team standings. He is expected to fill the void in the Seminole top five left by the graduation of Joe Simolari.
The FSU men will also count on Brad Shriver, Lee Fictum, Corey Cherr and Josh Ware. Shriver is a senior from Pennsylvania that turned in an impressive performance at the time trial after a dedicated summer of training. Fictum has been a mainstay on the Seminole team for the past two years and looks to work his way into the scoring five.
Cherr and Ware will run for the Tribe for the first time this season. Cherr is a transfer from the University of Michigan where he took a redshirt last year and Ware comes to FSU via Troy State. Both have the potential to break into the scoring column at some point this season.
“Overall, I am excited about this year’s team,” said Irving. “When I look at the lineup, we have the athletes in place to move up in the ACC. We host the ACC Championships and that should be an advantage for our runners. I also think we can challenge Alabama and Tennessee in the newly-formed NCAA District IX. We need to keep focused on our goal of placing five runners below 25:30.”