Sept. 28, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Redshirt sophomore Teresa Ristow‘s sixth-place finish highlighted an impressive all-around performance by Florida State’s Seminole Striders Saturday morning at the Charlotte Invitational.
Ristow covered the 6000-meter course at McAlpine Park in 21:38.4, pacing the cross country walk-ons to a fifth-place finish in the Gold race field of 30 teams. Sophomore Kaitlyn Kelly and Christine Griggsplaced 26th (22:16.3) and 28th (22:20.4), respectively, on a day when all 22 competing Seminoles established new personal-best times.
“Based on it being the first race, I wanted to see how they ran the 6k without a lot of advice,” FSU volunteer coach Josh Seitz said. “We had been doing a lot of aerobic work in our training and they all ran better than we expected, especially on the top end. We were probably the strongest team from the 3k on. I don’t think we got passed by many people over the final 3k.”
The Striders trailed only Mississippi State (58), host Charlotte (61), North Florida (76) and Davidson (140), all of whom sent their top runners to the starting line.
Competing in her first collegiate 6k race, Ristow worked her way up into the hunt after passing through the 5k in a near-best 18:00 and was less than three seconds out of a fourth-place finish.
“She didn’t even really realize it,” Seitz said. “She thought she was way off the leaders, but she kept moving up and was right in the mix.”
Kelly’s day started with a fall in the very early stages of the race, but she regrouped with a team-best split in the third kilometer and obliterated her previous-best 6k time by 74 seconds. Griggs was especially strong over the final kilometer to post a 59-second personal-best.
Shelby Salimone (54th, 22:56.0) and Chantelle Brodie (66th, 23:09.7) rounded out the scoring for the Seminoles, while Jensen Swopes (87th, 23:34.2) and Christina Phipps(100th, 23:48.2) posted displacing finishes in the Gold race.
“It was exciting,” Seitz said. “We were spot-on in our meeting the night before, when we told them if could finish in the top five if we had a really good day. That’s exactly what we did.”