BOONE, N.C. – The No.30/RV Florida State cross country teams won their fifth straight Covered Bridge Open on Friday at the Don Kennedy Trails.
The women packed up and finished five runners within 28 seconds of each other, scoring 20 points for the win. The men’s team put five runners in the top 11, securing the title with a total of 32 points.
The Seminoles finished in second through sixth place in the women’s 5K, led by Alyson Churchill at 16:53.50. Caitlyn Wilkey (17:21.82), Yasmine Abbes (17:22.13) and Rebecca Bergnes (17:22.73) crossed the line nearly in unison, taking third, fourth and fifth place.
Riley Bahr rounded out the scoring runners in sixth at 17:29.01.
“The Noles had a great first showing today,” FSU women’s distance coach Baylee Mires said. “It was an awesome opportunity to run as a pack and practice all the race day routines and strategies that we want to employ during the postseason. We are healthy and our fitness is in a great spot.”
Ferghal Curtin made his debut in the Garnet and Gold by finishing in first place with a time of 24:52.25 and was the lone runner to break the 25-minute barrier in the men’s 8K.
Zach Leachman followed in second place (25:23.54) ahead of Jacob Holmes (25:47.89) in seventh and Paul Stafford (25:47.02) in eighth. Samuel Field rounded out the scorers in 11th (25:52.01), just ahead of Wynne Thomas (25:52.12) in 12th place.
“Our guys did a nice job today,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “We ran in packs and worked well together. Ferghal was in total control and got company from Zach for much of the race. We’ll get a really good test in two weeks on the same course against a strong Tennessee team.”
The Seminoles will return to Boone to face Tennessee in a dual on Sept. 16.
ACC Order of Finish Released
After the preseason rankings of the USTFCCCA poll were released Wednesday, the ACC Cross Country Coaches Preseason Poll was announced on Friday.
The Seminoles are picked to finish fourth and the men were slated to place sixth.
“Our ladies being picked four fourth in the best cross country conference in America says a lot about the potential of our team,” Braman said. “It’s a great place to begin for our young upstarts. I’m sure the men will use a sixth place ranking as bulletin board material. But, it’s better to be the underdog in September. We’ve got a much higher number in mind for the ACC Championships in eight weeks.”
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