October 16, 2012 - by
Still No. 1 In The Land

Oct. 16, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s cross country team maintained its hold on the No. 1 national ranking in the USTFCCCA Poll for the second consecutive week after winning the NCAA Pre-National team title Saturday in Louisville, Ky.

Coach Karen Harvey’s Seminoles posted a 15-point edge over runner-up Oregon to outdistance the field of 38 teams on the E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park course, which will host the NCAA Championship meet on Nov. 17. Winning the Pre-National team title is just the first step along the way for the `Noles, as the championship season gets underway in earnest in two weeks at the ACC Championships in Blacksburg, Va.

While the Seminoles held firm at No. 1, garnering 11 of 12 first-place votes following their Pre-Nationals win, there was quite a bit of movement behind them. Iowa State vaulted from fifth to second on the strength of their adidas Wisconsin Invitational team victory, while Oregon climbed one spot to No. 3 after finishing behind the `Noles. Stanford jumped from seventh to fourth, while Arizona dipped from No. 2 to No. 5. Washington, Michigan, Cornell, Georgetown and Providence round out the top 10, with the Friars making the most dramatic move from 28th to 10th.

ACC rival Duke, which did not receive votes in the last poll, rocketed to No. 11 on the strength of its showing at Wisconsin. Boston College (No. 26) is the only other ACC women’s in the poll.

The Seminoles are no strangers when it comes to holding down the top spot in the coaches’ poll. This marks the seventh time in the last 11 polls, dating to its five-week run at No. 1 in 2011, that FSU has been at the top of the pecking order.

Perhaps more impressively, the `Noles have spent 32 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10 nationally. The streak dates to the midway point in the 2009 season. Since Harvey came aboard to guide the women in 2007, the Seminoles have never been ranked lower than 12th nationally, including a run of 47 top 10 rankings in a stretch than spans 49 polls.

The FSU women are in the midst of an active streak of 60 consecutive poll appearances, dating the start of the 2006 season, when current men’s coach Bob Braman had oversight of both programs.

Braman’s FSU men failed to gain any ground in the national poll this week, despite a fourth-place team finish out of 40 teams at Pre-Nationals. The Seminoles retained their No. 14 ranking; one of only four schools from the top 15 that did not move up or down following an active weekend of racing.

Like the women, the Seminole men have quite an impressive streak of poll appearances going. Florida State has been nationally ranked for 45 consecutive polls, dating to the next-to-last ranking of the 2007 season. Under Braman’s direction since 2000, the FSU men have either been nationally ranked or received votes in the USTFCCCA poll every week since the start of the 2003 campaign.

Lagat earns ACC weekly honors
Florida State senior co-captain Violah Lagat was named Atlantic Coast Conference women’s cross country Performer of the Week, following her fourth-place finish at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky. Lagat earned the first weekly honor of her Seminole career after leading the Seminoles to the team title. The Kipsirwo, Kenya native became the fourth different runner to finish first for the Florida State this season, completing the 6k course in a blazing, personal-best time of 20:00.6.

Lagat is the third Seminole woman to earn ACC Performer of the Week honors this season, joining Linden Hall and Colleen Quigley.

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