Nov. 13, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Seminoles.com) – Another week, another dominating performance by both of Florida State’s cross country teams.
After running away with two conference championships, the Seminoles traveled to Birmingham, Ala. and had nearly the same success. The women’s squad captured the regional title while the men’s team came in second behind a first-place finish by Ciaran O’Lionaird.
Head coach Karen Harvey’s women’s team has been dominant all year long and Saturday’s win propels them into Nationals on Nov. 22. The women saw their top seven runners all finish in the top 20 with senior Pasca Cheruiyot leading the way with a second-place finish (19:55.21).
Cheruiyot’s great time was also good enough to be a new personal record.
Not far off her pace were a host of Cheruiyot’s teammates. Fellow senior team captain Pilar McShine also ran a sub 20-minute race with a third-place finish (19:56.39). That, too, was a personal record.
In fourth place, sophomore Jessica Parry continued the personal-record trend with a time of 19:56.28.
Sophomore Amanda Winslow then finished in 15th place with a mark of 20:33.30. Senior Astrid Leutert’s 20:41.24 clip was enough for 19th place.
“The course is beautiful and the crowd is fantastic and there were a lot of people in the race,” Harvey said. “So I’m glad we came out and were, knock on wood, injury-free. You know, it’s like running a heat in track. It’s not something you like to do. We weren’t exactly looking forward to this but every team in the country has got to qualify, no matter what you are ranked. So honestly, we are going home. Glad it’s over with and glad we ran well, but we ran in racing flats. Honestly, we are leaving a lot for nationals because we are going to need everything we’ve got.
“We are glad to get out of here with a win. It’s a great day to be a Seminole.”
On the men’s side, O’Lionaird’s personal-record time of 30:03.34 in the 10k event helped put FSU in position to finish second.
He was then followed by junior Mike Fout, who finished 10th with a personal-record 30:26.68. Three other Seminoles then finished in order from 15th to 17th: senior Matt Leeder (30:41.49), senior Alex Smyth (30:41.66) and sophomore Wes Rickman (30:41.80), respectively.
Smyth and Rickman both set personal records with those marks and sophomore Seth Proctor came in 25th win a 30:57.42 clip.
“We did what we came to do,” men’s coach Bob Braman said. “We qualified and ran really well so it was a great thing. It was good to see all of our guys go out there and run well and stay injury free. It really opened up for Ciaran and he kicked it in to get the win. We held Dave Forrester and Jakub Zivec out so all six of our guys were All-Region and that’s saying something.
“For Ciaran and Mike to crack the top 10 was a good thing to see.”
Florida State will now use the next nine days to recover and get prepared for Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 22.