TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A sweep of the team titles at Friday’s FSU Invitational set up the Seminole cross country teams for virtually a perfect awards haul of the weekly Atlantic Coast Conference honors. Junior Michael Callegari and freshman Steven Cross swept the conference men’s honors, while junior Bridget Blake and freshman Megan Mooney claimed the women’s honors, as announced Tuesday.
Callegari, Blake and Mooney are first-time recipients of conference honors, while Cross claimed his third ACC Men’s Freshman of the Week award this season.
Blake was honored as the ACC Women’s Performer of the Week after delivering a second-place overall finish on Friday. In her first 5000-meter race on the Apalachee Regional Park course since high school, the Orlando, Fla. native ran 17:47.8 to help the Seminoles to the team title. Florida State finished with 51 points to edge UCF and defending champion Jacksonville, which finished with 56 points in the field of seven NCAA Division I teams (13 overall).
“Bridget is one of those athletes that races better as the stakes get higher,” Florida State coach Kelly Phillips said. “She race that race as a tempo, ran very comfortably and yet still ran pretty quick. Both ladies had terrific training this week and are ready to do quite well in Wisconsin.”
Mooney recorded her second consecutive second-place finish among teammates this season, placing eighth overall – sixth among NCAA Division I scorers – in the race. Competing on her home course for the first time, the Thornton, Col. native finished in 18:09.9 in a controlled effort. She was the first freshman across the finish line in a field of 178 finisher to lock up her initial ACC Women’s Freshman of the Week honor.
“I sometimes forget Megan is a freshman,” Phillips said. “She races so consistently and always looks so smooth doing it.”
The Florida State men put the first four runners across the finish line on Friday and prevailed over a field of six NCAA Division I teams – and 13 teams overall – with a perfect score of 15 points.
Callegari, a transfer from St. Mary’s University just outside of London, England, has been running in teammate Harry Mulenga’s shadow throughout much of the season, but that shadow was closer than ever over the 8000-meter ARP course. Callegari and Mulenga finished with identical times of 25:22.9, with Mulenga securing the win after the timed tie was broken by video review.
Running stride-for-stride with the leaders and teammate Ibrahim Ahmed, Cross continued his outstanding rookie campaign by placing third in 25:23.6 – less than a full second behind Mulenga and Callegari. The Merritt Island, Fla. native, who won his second consecutive Freshman of the Week award, has finished among the Seminoles’ top three in all three of his meets this season.
Florida State’s men and women travel to Madison, Wisc. on Wednesday in preparation for Friday’s Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, which will draw the strongest regular season field in Division I this season.