TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Just 10 days after Hurricane Michael cut a destructive path through her hometown of Lynn Haven, Fla., Florida State freshman Ella Swigler piled into a van with her teammates and headed to Milledgeville, Ga. for Saturday’s Bobcat Invitational.
Competing in just her second collegiate meet – and her first 6,000-meter race – Swigler delivered a performance she won’t soon forget.
Swigler’s sixth-place finish – against a field of 141 runners – was instrumental in FSU’s team title and earned the first-year Nole ACC Women’s Freshman of the Week honors. She completed her trek around the Council Farms Course in 22:48.7.
The Mosley High graduate provided FSU’s developmental group with a second low stick, behind third-place finishing junior Hailey Hendry. Florida State packed its top five finishers in the first 12 spots to finish with 42 points and outdistance runner-up Alabama-Huntsville by 12 points in the 19-team field.
Sophomore Sarah Myers, freshman Sarah Parrish and sophomore Kate Bernicke secured the win by placing 10th through 12th. Four more Noles – Micaela Torres, Katie Kuhn, Nicole McConnell and Elizabeth Cobb – cracked the top 20 and finished in front of Alabama-Huntsville’s No. 4 runner.
Swigler’s performance came a month after her collegiate debut at the Mountain Dew Invitational produced a 5,000-meter personal-best of nearly 60 seconds. The month-long layoff between races for the squad of 16 Noles competing on the Georgia College & State University’s home course followed the cancellation of the Oct. 12 FSU Invitational due to Hurricane Michael.
Florida State has earned a conference-leading three ACC Women’s Freshman of the Week honors this season, including two from Elizabeth Funderburk, who will be among nine Seminoles competing at Friday’s ACC Championships at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.