TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Freshman Elizabeth Funderburk’s contributions to the Florida State women’s cross country team have played no small role in the Seminoles’ climb into the national rankings for the first time since the 2014 regular season.
Funderburk finished 11th overall, less than two seconds behind senior teammate Militsa Mircheva at Friday’s 63rd Joe Piane Invitational. With two Noles at the front and a solid pack closing fast, FSU posted a third-place finish, which included wins over No. 22 Notre Dame, No. 21 Cal and two other ACC schools in the 19-team race. Duke was fifth, while Clemson placed 10th.
On Wednesday, the Moultrie, Ga. native was named ACC Freshman of the Week. It’s the second such honor of the season for the former Colquitt County star, who has been the Noles’ No. 2 runner through the first three meets of the year.
Funderburk cruised with in a 5,000-meter personal best of 17:05.2 and was the second freshman across the finish line overall.
The performance by coach Kelly Phillips’ team vaulted them two spots in the NCAA South Region rankings to No. 2 on Monday. On Tuesday they checked in at No. 25 in the USTFCCCA Coaches Rankings.
“It was really exciting to know that I’m helping to contribute to this too; having such a good year so far,” Funderburk said, following her Piane Invitational performance. “It’s really fun being a part of a good team, finishing third against a pretty good field. I’m excited for the rest of this season because I feel like we’ve got a lot of improvements we can make and keep getting better.”
The Seminoles are idle this weekend in preparation for next week’s hectic schedule. The FSU Invitational at Apalachee Regional Park is set for Friday, Oct. 12, while Funderburk will lead a seven-runner contingent to Madison, Wisc. on Saturday for the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals.