Huntsville, Ala. – The No. 9 Florida State women’s cross country team is headed to the NCAA XC Championships next week after finishing second in the 6k at the 2021 NCAA South Region Championships that were held at the John Hunt Running Park.
The No. 23 men’s team was paced Adriaan Wildschutt and Ahmed Muhumed in the men’s 10k as the Seminoles placed third with a score of 112 points behind No. 19 Ole Miss (68) and RV Alabama (79).
Wildschutt won his fifth race of the season and Muhumed followed for silver, marking the third time in school history FSU went one-two at the regional meet. David Forrester and Mike Fout accomplished the feat in 2011 and Jakub Zivec and Brendan O’Neill followed in 2012.
The women’s team earned an automatic bid to nationals after finishing runner-up to No. 15 Ole Miss (69) and ahead of No. 11 Alabama (99).
FSU will race in its fourth-straight NCAA meet on Nov.20 at 10:20 a.m. at the Apalachee Regional Park.
All five scoring runners finished within the top 25, earning all-region honors. It is the 11th time since 2000 FSU had five or more all-region athletes.
The Seminoles also had the lowest spread among any of the top teams in the field, as all five crossed the line within 28 seconds of each other.
“Mission accomplished,” Bob Braman said. “This is the national qualifying meet and getting both teams to nationals was our goal. Both teams ran really tough. I’m really pleased we had five ladies make the all-region team. That’s big time. They did a great job. They were 28 seconds apart and they ran under control.”
In the women’s 6k, Lauren Ryan led the way with a ninth-place finish, crossing the line at 20:05.00.
Ryan went out with the leaders, while Maudie Skyring, Amanda Beach, Rebecca Clark and Jennifer Lima ran the majority of the race together in a pack.
Skyring crossed the first checkpoint in 24th and climbed up to finish 14th with a time of 20:16.43
Beach followed in 18th (20:23.45), Clark was 21st (20:26.22) and Lima took 24th (20:33.20).
Skyring won her third all-region nod, while Clark and Ryan pick up their second. Beach and Lima earned their first.
Wildschutt led the men’s 10k from start to finish, crossing the line with at time of 29:07.11, which was a personal best.
Muhumed paced himself alongside Wildschutt for part of the race, as the tandem crossed the 3.4K checkpoint together. He held his second-place position through the 6.6K mark, but two runners from Alabama joined him and he slipped to third with less than 2k to go.
Muhumed surged to the finish, crossing the line at 29:20.50, about one second ahead of Crimson Tide’s first runner, breaking the 30-minute barrier for the first time in his career.
“That was a really great race for Ahmed,” Braman said. “He beat the SEC champion. That was big. Adriaan was Adriaan.”
Matthew Owens finished third for the Noles with a time of 30:39.43, moving up six places in the final 2k of the race to place 28th. Jacob Holmes took 33rd (30:51.42) and Gabriel Curtis (21:14.07) rounded out the scoring five in 48th place.
Although the men haven’t officially qualified for the NCAA Championships, the Noles are expected to receive an at-large bid based on the body of work done throughout the season.
“We did everything right during the season for this,” Braman added. “Alabama ran really well today and did what they needed to do. In the regular season, we haven’t lost within the region, and we beat a few teams that are in next week.”
The NCAA XC selection show will take place on Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.
Tickets to the 2021 NCAA XC Championships and other information can be found on Seminoles.com.
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