Madison, Wisc. – Known as the most competitive and toughest race in the regular season, the NR/No. 24 Florida State cross country teams closed out the 2022 regular season at the Nuttycombe Invitational, which was held on Friday at the Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin.
The 24th-ranked women’s team stepped to the line for the 6k race alongside 35 other teams. FSU was one of the 28 squads carrying a national ranking or receiving votes.
In a field of 263 runners, the Seminoles were aggressive at the start as three runners went out with the lead pack.
Alyson Churchill paced the Noles, crossing the finish line in 51st with a time of 20:33.0, which was her personal best.
Emmy Van den Berg followed in 83rd at 20:46.9 ahead of Agnes McTighe (20:57.5) in 111st. Rebecca Pottorff was the fourth runner for the Noles at 21:19.3 (167) and Caitlin Wilkey rounded out the scoring (186), posting a time of 21:28.40, which was just off her career-best (21:26.5).
“Our ladies did what I asked of them today,” FSU women’s distance coach Baylee Mires said. “They went out hard and we were fearless through 3k. We have been working really hard the last few weeks, so this was a tough course and tough conditions on tired legs. We will be better in two weeks.”
Facing a similar caliber field in the men’s 8k, Fearghal Curtin led the Noles, finishing in 54th place with a time of 23:48.4. Zach Leachman followed at 24:29.5 (162), just off his personal best.
Cooper Schroder was the third runner in at 24:34.2 (173) ahead of Paul Stafford at 24:56.4. Samuel Field returned to the lineup and was the fifth scoring runner at 25:03.4.
“Obviously it was a really tough day for our guys,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “They might be a little overtrained, but we’ll need to freshen up and get ready for ACCs. I still believe we can rally and make nationals, but we have to go out and prove it.”
The women’s team finished 24th with a score of 588 points, picking up ranked wins over No. 23 Utah State in 28th and No. 30 Harvard in 29th. The men placed 30th at 788 points.
The Seminoles started off the day by racing in the Crimson Classic, placing ninth in the men’s 8k (210) and eighth in the women’s 6k (214).
For the second straight week, the men’s team was led by Matthew Newland, who crossed the line with a time of 25:01.1 in 32nd place, ahead of Anderson Ball (25:06.5) in 38th, Wynne Thomas (25:21.0) in 49th and Colby Otero (25:39.6) in 61st.
Coleman Cronk rounded out the scoring five in 64th at 25:45.2.
In the women’s race, Marit Griep emerged as the leader for the Noles, finishing in 31st at 21:20.4 just ahead of Dani Thompson in 34th (21:39.9).
Jane Eiselstein was third to cross the finish at 21:39.9 in 46th place, followed by Abby Schrobilgen (21:49.4) in 54th and Anna Sentner (22:08.3) in 68th.
Florida State will head to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the ACC Championships on Oct. 28.
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