TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dominating performances by the Florida State men’s and women’s cross country at Friday’s FSU Invitational led to a major haul of Atlantic Coast Conference weekly honors for the Seminoles.
A trio of Noles – Militsa Mircheva, Jodie Judd and Michael Hall – headline this week’s ACC Performer of the Week honors, after leading their respective teams to FSU Invitational titles at Apalachee Regional Park.
Hall, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, picked up the first ACC Men’s Performer of the Week honor of his career behind his third-place finish against a field of 139 runners. He covered the 7,882-meter course in 24:32.1 as the Noles steam-rolled the field in a bounce-back effort following the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational. Hall broke free from a pack of his teammates and finished 14 seconds clear of fellow Nole David Barney.
The Florida State men placed five runners in the top eight overall – five of the top six vs. Division I competition – for a 20-point team total and a 42-point win over Florida A&M and Florida, who were among the six NCAA Division I teams in the field.
“Mike has done a fantastic job this season,” FSU men’s coach Bob Braman said. “He’s always been a track-first guy and he’s dedicated this senior season to become an elite cross country runner. He looked spectacular at the FSU Invitational and I’m sure that’ll set him up nicely for the ACC’s and beyond.”
For the third time in four races this season Mircheva was the first runner across the finish line, racing to victory in a controlled-effort time of 17:45.2 over the 5,000-meter home course. This also marks the third ACC Women’s Performer of the Week honor for the junior from Dobrich, Bulgaria. She is the only multi-time winner of the league’s weekly award this season.
Just seven seconds behind her was Judd, a freshman from Canvey Island, Great Britain, who was second in 17:52.4. The middle distance standout, who has been FSU’s No. 2 runner in each of her first three meets, was named ACC Women’s Freshman of the Week for the first time.
Mircheva and Judd duplicated their 1-2 finish at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational last month, while guiding the surging Noles women to their third team title of the year.
“They are both having good seasons so far and now that the championship time coming up it will be a real indicator of how good they are,” FSU women’s coach Kelly Phillips said. “This is showing that the hard work they put in is paying off.
“For Jodie, it’s super exciting because it’s her first freshman athlete of the week. She certainly doesn’t run like a freshman. She has been so consistent racing that I forget sometimes that she’s a freshman just because she runs so maturely. She has already taken over some of the great leadership qualities that the upper classmen typically do and she’s stepped into the program very well and is handling this training extremely well.”
Florida State’s men and women will hit the road for their third meet in as many weeks, racing against the nation’s deepest and strongest fields at Friday’s Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on the Badgers’ Zimmer Championship Course.
Twenty of the nation’s top 30 ranked teams, including No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 3 Syracuse and No. 4 Stanford, headline the men’s field. Five top-10 women’s teams, including by No. 3 New Mexico, No. 5 Stanford and No. 7 NC State, are among the 16 nationally ranked squads lining up against the Noles, who received votes in the national rankings for the first time last week.
This meet will provide both programs an opportunity to earn potentially pivotal at-large points toward NCAA Championships qualification.
The women’s 6,000-meter championship race is set for 1:20 p.m. (ET) with the men’s 8,000-meter final starting at 2 p.m.
Flotrack will provide a live stream to subscribers at http://www.flotrack.org/event/256148-2017-nuttycombe-wisconsin-xc-invitational and live results will also be available at go.wisc.edu/2017nutty.