BLACKSBURG, Va. – Carrying out pre-race plans to near-perfection, the Florida State men’s and women’s cross country teams came away winners from Friday evening’s Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course.
The sixth-ranked Seminole women placed five runners in the top nine, led by senior All-American Colleen Quigley, who claimed the victory in 21:09.20 over the 6,000-meter course. Pippa Woolven (third, 21:11.20), Georgia Peel (sixth, 21:27.60), Linden Hall (seventh, 21:31.20) and Bridget Blake (ninth, 21:40.3) rounded out the scoring five as FSU clipped North Carolina 26-31 for the win.
Host Virginia Tech (80 points), Ohio University (112), East Tennessee State (140) and Radford (143) rounded out the scoring among Division I schools.
FSU’s men were even more dominant, sealing the victory as juniors Glen Yarham and Zak Seddon were followed by grad student Tyler Udland across the finish line for a sweep of the top three spots. Yarham claimed the win in his first collegiate 8,000-meter race in 24:36.10, nipping Seddon by one-tenth of a second. Udland was on their heels and in at 24:37.20. Redshirt sophomores Stanley Linton (eighth, 25:15.70) and Otniel Teixeira (22nd, 25:28.50) closed out the scoring spots for the Seminoles, who easily outdistanced runner-up North Carolina, 33-68.
East Tennessee (94) and Virginia Tech (106) followed.
“I was really pleased with our effort today,” FSU men’s coach Bob Braman said. “We packed up through three miles, then pushed hard the last two miles. We ended up with some personal-bests and both Linton and Teixeira ran great.”
Women’s coach Karen Harvey was equally pleased with the performance her squad turned in, especially on a wet and hilly course.
“They ran exactly six-minute pace through 3k, which was what I wanted them to do,” Harvey said of her lead group. “The fact that they took that adversity, ran further back in the pack following our workout plan, were sliding all over the place and still executed like that, it was great to see. …
“Georgia Peel had the race won at 5k and she was gone. She had five or six seconds on Colleen and Pippa. At the finish … Colleen comes around and she’s winning the race and Pippa is right with her. Georgia fell with 400 meters to go.”
That both teams came away victorious was a bonus, since each approached the meet with different strategies. Harvey had designated five women to run at six-minutes per mile pace for the first 3000 meters, then finish strong. A second group of five, led by Blake and including Katie Slater (21st, 22:23.60) and Carly Thomas (23rd, 22:29.30), raced the entire distance.
“I definitely feel like we got a good look at UNC,” Harvey said. “We got a hard effort on the grass. It stunk that Georgia fell, but I think the girls have new respect for Georgia. Bridget Blake managed the race beautifully. … As a team we learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to do.”
Braman’s crew followed the script by running the first three miles under control, then racing home the final two miles. Antony Taylor (28th, 25:37.20) and Bryce Kelley (30th, 25:44.10) rounded out the top seven for the men.
“They ran really well,” Braman said. “We just moved through. I was really pleased with it. We accomplished what we wanted. Everybody’s healthy and the weather was pretty good.”
The Seminoles won’t return to competition until Oct. 3, when the men’s team travels to the Notre Dame Invitational. The women will compete at Lehigh’s Paul Short Run on Oct. 4.