Nov. 17, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The top-ranked Florida State women’s cross country team placed three runners in the top 17 but was unable to match the top five depth of Oregon, which made off with the NCAA Championship Saturday under ideal conditions at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.
On a day when the course ran exceedingly fast, Violah Lagat (11th, 19:52), Colleen Quigley (12th, 19:53) and Amanda Winslow (17th, 20:02) led the Seminoles’ strong push from the front. Their All-American performances, however, weren’t enough as the Seminoles finished fourth – after a lengthy delay to review results – with 202 points. Oregon claimed the title with 114, followed by Providence (183) and Stanford (198).
The fourth-place finish left Karen Harvey’s squad to settle for their sixth consecutive podium finish.
On the men’s side, in a performance that was eerily reminiscent of its 2010 NCAA runner-up finish, Bob Braman’s squad put together an impressive run to finish fifth. The 18th-ranked Seminole men received All-American performances from junior Jakub Zivec (21st, 29:47) and senior Breandan O Neill (28th, 29:52), and equally stellar efforts from the senior trio of David Forrester (62nd, 30:26), Wes Rickman (77th, 30:31) and Seth Proctor (131st, 30:59).
Florida State finished with 238 points, trailing the four podium finishers – runaway national champion Oklahoma State (72), Wisconsin (135), Colorado (158) and Northern Arizona (191).
The fifth-place finish was the second best in school history for the Florida State men. A more detailed story will follow shortly.
FSU Men’s Coach Bob Braman
On placing fifth:
“It’s very similar to 2010, but the difference was in 2010 we had guys that had really big summers and were really fit coming in. This was a duct-tape special to try and get through this season and just get everything.”
“We left zero points out there. We got after it and I really think it helped to get in the mix (early in the race). That’s all we had and I’m just really, really proud of those guys.”
“I’m just proud of them. They believed in what we were doing.”
Breandan O Neill – finished 28th to earn All-American honors
“I’m satisified with it. It’s a team event in cross country … It’s great to come out here and work as a team and look out for your teammates in the pack.”
“It got tough out there but it was always on the agenda to work through the rough patches for the team so we could do as well as we could at the finish.”
“The last couple of days you have to go to these events and chance your armor a little bit. The team rankings – we were 18th-ranked – and that kind of annoyed us a little bit because we knew we were better than that. We were training for this 10k at the end of the season and not all of the preseason events and conference, like maybe some other teams were. We were thrilled to get No. 5 and prove some people wrong.”
Violah Lagat – finished 11th to earn All-American honors:
“I’m really satisfied with the result because from the beginning of the season coach Harvey was emphasizing finishing in the top 15 would be a really good spot for me. I felt like fulfilling my assignment that coach gave me was the best thing for me to have done today.”
“It was really tough. The first mile went out at 5:01 and I was close to 5:06, which is quite fast compared to what I had been running. Close to 4k, it really got tough and Colleen came up and she really helped me. She was calling, ‘Come on Violah, let’s go.’ We were running together until when we had close to 600 to go then I started just picking up because I didn’t want anyone to pass me.”
On the team finishing fourth:
“It’s quite disappointing … because some of us didn’t have a great day. It just hurts that we didn’t make it and we came here knowing that we had everything that we needed to win this and it just didn’t happen.”
“We were really prepared. We knew that we had a chance.”
Amanda Winslow – finished 17th to earn her third All-American honor
“It was a different kind of race, but I guess that’s kind of how NCAA always is; you’ve got to get out and you’ve got to be aggressive. You can’t expect people to come back to you. I’m really proud of the girls today and just the whole season.
“I’m just so blessed to be on this team, and to be on a team where I’ve been pushed the whole way, even in this race today. It was bittersweet.”
Colleen Quigley – finished 12th to earn All-American honors
“Amanda took us out off the line and I followed her the first mile. She was leading the pack. I didn’t know where Violah was at first, but she showed up before 3k and I followed her for the rest of the race and kept my little eye on her white bow and tried to stay as close to her as possible. I knew we were both in good position and if we could just finish together that would be huge for the team.”
On the disappointment of finishing fourth as a team:
“I’m not sure if I’ll have a chance at this again, even though I am young. This team that we’ve had this year we have been building for a while. This was kind of like our shot for a couple years. … We just had so much experience on this team and so many seniors. We’re definitely going to miss them next year and it’s going to be a completely new thing.”