Florida State Men's Cross Country - 2012 Year In Review

Florida State Men's Cross Country - 2012 Year In Review

Coaching Staff
Bob Braman, Head Coach
Andy Biladeau, Graduate Assistant

Click here for team picture

Click here to see individual mug shots

2012 Florida State Signees/Newcomers

Jake Burton, Stuart

Joseph Castagnaro, Melbourne

Max del Monte, Tampa

Chris Godwin, Gainesville

Zak Seddon, Reading, England

2012 Roster - By Name

T                            PY
R Name                  Cl   Ltr  Hometown (Prior School)
* William Bridges       Fr-R      Orlando (Edgewater)
  Jake Burton           Fr        Stuart (Martin County)
  Dominick Cabrera      So-R *    Miami (Columbus)
  Joseph Castagnaro     Fr        Melbourne (Holy Trinity Academy)
  Max del Monte         Fr        Tampa (Chamberlain)
  AJ del Valle          So   *    Miami (Columbus)
* David Forrester       Sr   **   Billinge, England (Liverpool)
  Chris Godwin          Fr        Gainesville (Buchholz)
* Josh Gracia           Jr-R      Lantana (Santaluces Community/Oklahoma)
  John Grellner         Jr-R      Tampa (Wharton)
* Paul Lagno            Sr        Salt Point, NY (Millbrook/Albany)
  Colin Lynch           So-R      Jacksonville (Bishop Kenny/Auburn)
* Daniel Millay         Fr-R      Orlando (Doctor Phillips)
* Breandan O'Neill      Sr-R *    Sandymount, Ireland (Dublin City)
* Seth Proctor          Sr-R *    Orlando (Edgewater)
  Sean Quinn            Jr-R *    Punta Gorda (Bishop Verot)
* Wes Rickman           Sr   ***  Peyton, CO (Falcon)
  Gleb Rudenko          So-R      San Antonio, TX (Churchill)
* Zak Seddon            Fr        Reading, England (Piggott)
  Michael Wallace       So-R      Jacksonville (Bishop Kenny)
* Jakub Zivec           Jr   **   Litomerice, Czech Republic (Gymnazium Josefa Jungmann)

2012 All-Americans

Name                     Organization
Breandan O'Neill         NCAA - All-American - 28th place

Jakub Zivec              NCAA - All-American - 21st place

All-Americans -  2

2012 Schedule and Results

Boone, NC
1st Place
Blacksburg, Va
1st Place
South Bend, In
4th Place
Charlotte, NC
Louisville, Ky
4th Place
Blacksburg, Va
3rd Place
Louisville, Ky
5th Place
EOY Stats Ref

                Overall   Home    Away   Neutral
FSU RECORD IS    0- 0     0- 0     0- 0     0- 0

 1  VIRGINIA TECH          55
 2  VIRGINIA               61
 3  FLORIDA STATE          62
 5  DUKE                  112
 6  NORTH CAROLINA        149
 7  WAKE FOREST           209
 8  BOSTON COLLEGE        246
 9  GEORGIA TECH          272
10  CLEMSON               280
11  MIAMI                 342

2012 EOY Stats

Team Overall Name Races Top 7 Top 10 Wins =============================================== Breandan O'Neill 7 7 5 0 Paul Lagno 7 7 2 0 Jakub Zivec 6 6 4 1 David Forrester 6 6 0 0 Zak Seddon 6 5 1 1 Wes Rickman 6 5 1 0 Seth Proctor 5 5 2 0 William Bridges 5 4 3 0 Josh Gracia 5 4 1 0 Sean Quinn 5 2 0 0 Daniel Millay 3 2 0 0 Michael Wallace 3 1 0 0 Dominick Cabrera 2 1 0 0

08/31/2012, Boone, NC

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

Season-Opening Sweep.

FSU XC men, women capture team titles; Hall edges Butler for top spot.

BOONE, N.C. - The nationally-ranked Florida State men's and women's cross country teams turned in winning efforts Friday in the annual, season-opening Covered Bridge Invitational.

Sophomore Linden Hall and Jessica Butler provided the fourth-ranked Seminole women with a 1-2 finish as coach Karen Harvey's scaled back squad rolled to a win over a field which included full squads from host Appalachian State, North Carolina, East Tennessee State and Norther Kentucky. The Seminoles placed four runners in the top 10 to outdistance the runner-up host Mountaineers, 38-46 for the team title.

The 10th-ranked Florida State men put four runners across the line in the first 11 positions to beat the field with a 35-point total. Appalachian State was second with 41 points. First-year Seminole Paul Lagno ran out of real estate with a closing kick which left him second overall in 25:15.2 over 8 kilometers. Senior Breandan O Neill and redshirt freshman Will Bridges were fourth and fifth in 25:23.9 and 25:25.6, respectively.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," FSU men's coach Bob Braman said. "It was hot. When the girls ran it was worse than the guys. ... We did exactly what we tried to do: go out easy and lift a little in the end."

With the temperature in the mid-80s - unseasonably warm for the North Carolina mountains - and the humidity up, the conditions were less than ideal for turning out impressive times in a season-opening venture.

The good news is the overall depth both teams demonstrated as both Harvey and Braman elected to put the majority of their most seasoned runners through a tempo run, rather than roll out their full squads. Veteran women's standouts - seniors Amanda Winslow, Violah Lagat and Kayleigh Tyerman, and sophomores Colleen Quigley and Aubree Worden - provided moral support for their teammates on the course.

Hall, a native of Melbourne, Australia, posted the first collegiate victory of her career in 18:14.3 over the 5-kilometer course, edging Butler by .4 at the line. It was the Seminole debut for Butler, a graduate student who starred at the University of Tampa, with a year of eligibility remaining. Another first-year Seminole, freshman Carly Thomas, finished sixth overall in 18:44.8.

"I was thrilled to see a really improved Linden Hall race today," Harvey said. "What a transformation from last fall. Our newcomers Jessica Butler and Carly Thomas competed hard and wore their FSU colors proudly"

Senior Jessica Parry (10th, 18:55.3), sophomore Chelsi Woodruff (22nd, 19:50.3) and freshman Christine Griggs (23rd, 19:56.5) rounded out the Seminoles in the field.

Lagno, a graduate student comes to FSU after a distinguished career at Albany University, nearly pulled off the win in his debut. He came up less than two seconds shy of unattached runner Chris Moen (25:13.8) with a furious kick over the final 150 meters at the State Farm Course.

Like the women, Braman chose to put a group of runners through a tempo workout instead of the race. Senior Wes Rickman and junior Jakub Zivec - veterans of the last two NCAA teams - were joined by touted freshman Zak Seddon, sophomore AJ del Valle and freshman Chris Godwin in a support role after their workout.

Redshirt junior Josh Gracia, a transfer from Oklahoma, was 11th overall in his FSU debut (25:39.4), followed by senior All-American David Forrester (18th, 26:08.0) to round out the Seminole scorers. Junior Sean Quinn (20th, 26:14.5), redshirt freshman Daniel Millay (22nd, 26:16.2) and redshirt sophomore Michael Wallace (26:19.0) rounded out the FSU competitors.

Overall, Braman walked away from the lid-lifter quite pleased with what he had seen.

"We've got a little bit of depth," Braman said. "We've got some pieces."

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
   2   Paul Lagno                     1   25:15.2 
   4   Breandan O'Neill               3   25:23.9 
   5   William Bridges                4   25:25.6 
  11   Josh Gracia                   10   25:39.4 
  18   David Forrester               17   26:08.0 
  20   Sean Quinn                    19   26:14.5 
  22   Daniel Millay                 21   26:16.2 
  26   Michael Wallace                    26:19.0 

09/14/2012, Blacksburg, Va

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

Cruising In Hokie-Land.

FSU cross country teams sail to victories at Virginia Tech Invitational/Pre-ACC meet.

BLACKSBURG, VA - With large, front-running packs leading the way, the nationally-ranked Florida State men's and women's cross country teams ran away from the competition at Friday's Virginia Tech Invitational/Pre-ACC meet.

Seniors co-captains Amanda Winslow and Violah Lagat led a 1-2 finish for Karen Harvey's third-ranked Seminole women, who actually put the first seven runners across the finish line over the rolling, 6-kilometer course. Florida State finished with a perfect score of 15 points, 50 better than runner-up host Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech was a distant third with 102.

The 10th-ranked Seminole men weren't quite as dominant, but left no doubt about the outcome. Freshman Zak Seddon wasted no time leaving a strong first impression, winning his NCAA debut. Seddon paced a 1-2-3 sweep by the Seminoles, followed by junior Jakub Zivec and senior Breandan O Neill. FSU's 19-point winning total easily outdistanced runner-up Virginia Tech (83) and third place Wake Forest (87).

"I was really pleased with the way our guys executed the race plan," FSU men's coach Bob Braman said. "We moved well from 5k to 8k and made up a 100-meter deficit. The pack stayed really close together until the last half-mile and that bodes well for the rest of the season."

Despite the lopsided winning margins, neither FSU squad raced from the opening gun, choosing instead to pack up early with a strong, steady pace before turning it up over the last two miles. Winslow and Lagat paced a large Seminole women lead pack through the first two miles before breaking the race open. They crossed the finish line in 21:14.21 AND 21:15.02, respectively.

"What a great day to race and get some hard work in," Harvey said. "It was perfect weather and the ACC course is in really good shape. As a whole I thought the team executed our race plans well and we finished a really hard week of training as well."

Senior Kayleigh Tyerman (21:20.20) was third, followed by sophomores Colleen Quigley (21:26.85) and Linden Hall (21:28.66). Senior Jessica Parry (21:32.98) and sophomore Aubree Worden (21:48.44) rounded out the top seven. Freshman Carly Thomas (11th, 22:09.40), grad student Jessica Butler (12th, 22:10.43) and senior Jennifer Dunn (15th, 22:22.32) gave the Seminoles 10 finishers in the top 15 spots.

Seddon, who starred for Great Britain on the junior world stage in steeplechase, led FSU's late breakaway pack across the finish line of the 8-kilometer race in 25:08.53. He was shadowed by Zivec (25:08.78), a junior enjoying a strong preseason, and O Neill (25:09.05), a senior.

Paul Lagno, a grad student transfer, finished fifth (25:13.85) overall and in front of all other ACC runners from Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in the field. Redshirt freshman Will Bridges continued his impressive early-season performance with an eight-place finish (25:20.96), with junior transfer Josh Gracia ninth (25:33.49).

"Zak, Paul, Will and Josh have given us the depth that we didn't have last year," Braman said. "And it's great to have Kuba [Zivec] healthy and back to full strength."

Senior All-American David Forrester was 12th (25:36.09), as he continues to round his way into shape after missing much of the spring with a calf injury. The same holds true for senior Wes Rickman, who finished his first race since last year's NCAA Championship meet, in 42nd (26:13.6). Sean Quinn (57th, 26:42.9) rounded out the Seminole competitors.

"Dave and Wes are getting there and should be back leading the charge by Pre-Nationals," Braman said.

With a pair of controlled races under their belts, the Seminole teams will dial it up for their first all-out race assault at the Notre Dame Invitational in two weeks.

"The team is very excited to travel to Notre Dame in two weeks," Harvey said. "At Notre Dame we will joined by Georgia Peel and plan to race from the gun."

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
   1   Zak Seddon                     1   25:08.53
   2   Jakub Zivec                    2   25:08.78
   3   Breandan O'Neill               3   25:09.05
   5   Paul Lagno                     5   25:13.85
   8   William Bridges                8   25:20.96
   9   Josh Gracia                    9   25:33.49
  12   David Forrester               12   25:36.09
  42   Wes Rickman                        26:13.67
  57   Sean Quinn                         26:42.97

09/28/2012, South Bend, In

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

Runaway Champions.

Quigley, FSU women win in dominant fashion; Zivec leads fourth-place men.

SOUTH BEND, IN - Serving notice that its No. 2 national ranking is well-deserved, the Florida State women's cross country team unleashed an impressive assault on the course and the field at Friday's Notre Dame Invitational, winning in runaway fashion.

Sophomore Colleen Quigley scored her first collegiate victory, leading a group of four Seminoles among the first seven finishers, with a winning 5-kilometer time of 16:29. A trio of seniors followed close behind with Violah Lagat third (16:45), Kayleigh Tyerman fifth (16:47) and Amanda Winslow seventh (16:49).

Senior Jessica Parry rounded out the Seminole scorers with a 12th-place finish (16:57).

The Seminoles destroyed the 19-team field with 28 points, with host and 20th-ranked Notre Dame a distant second (110), followed by 19th-ranked New Mexico (147) and ACC rival NC State (148), which entered the race ranked 25th nationally.

"As you can look at the results, it was an interesting day," FSU coach Karen Harvey said. "There was a lot of weirdness ... It was extremely fast. The footing was rock hard, the temperature was perfect and there was no wind."

In short, the conditions for a great day could not have been better.

"We had to come here and dominate because the next best team was [ranked] in the 20s," Harvey said. "It was our best collective effort here. There were a lot of personal bests. We saw what we need to work on."

So did FSU men's coach Bob Braman, whose Seminoles defeated some quality opponents with a fourth-place team finish in a 21-team field that was significantly deeper in talent than the women's field.

Junior Jakub Zivec, who has endured injury and uneven performances his first two cross country seasons, was nothing short of sensational in the first big meet of the season for the Seminoles. Zivec finished fourth, covering the 5-mile course in outstanding, early-season time of 23:40, just seven seconds behind champion Chris O'Hare of Tulsa.

Senior Breandan O Neill was ninth in 23:56 and graduate student Paul Lagno was 23rd in 24:13.

The 10th-ranked Seminole men finished with 152 points to finish behind champion No. 20 Tulsa (104), No. 17 Princeton (139) and No. 24 Notre Dame (143), but significantly ahead of ACC rival and 11th-ranked NC State (10th, 237) and North Carolina (11th, 253).

"This is by far Kuba's best collegiate race, running 23:40 against really high-quality athletes," said Braman, noting that O'Hare in the NCAA indoor track champion in the mile and Texas A&M's Henry Lelei, the third-highest returning finisher from last year's NCAA cross country championship, were within his reach.

"It was a really solid race for Breandan, who doesn't really turn it on until the end of the season and Paul Lagno ran an outstanding race - a lifetime best for five miles," Braman added.

Freshman Zak Seddon lost ground down the stretch and was 57th overall (24:35) in his first big-stage event on the collegiate level. Senior co-captain Wes Rickman, who is working his way back from an injury that kept him off the track in the spring, showed progress with a 59th-place finish (24:36). They rounded out the Seminole scorers.

While the Florida State women won in impressive fashion, it was Quigley who stole the show. Her winning time was just three seconds off the best-ever effort by a Seminole on the Notre Dame golf - an 16:26 by four-time All-American Susan Kuijken in 2007.

"Colleen is talented and she continued on that success from outdoors until now," Harvey said of Quigley, who earned All-American honors on in the steeplechase this past June. Quigley was 55 seconds faster on the same course she ran a year ago as a freshman, setting a trend that permeated FSU's Friday lineup.

All seven returning Seminoles turned in significantly faster times than they did a year ago, including sophomores Linden Hall, who finished 20th (17:05) and Aubree Worden (34th, 17:19). Freshman Georgia Peel's season debut wasn't as productive as she had hoped, but her 63rd-place showing (17:35) was a starting point. She was chased across the finish line by freshman classmate Carly Thomas (64th, 17:35), who recorded a 20-second personal best for 5k.

On the men's side, junior transfer Josh Gracia was 79th (24:47) and senior David Forrester took another step on the road to recovery, finishing 86th (24:52). They were followed by redshirt freshman Will Bridges (115th, 25:16).

"I thought we competed really hard, even though the results don't necessarily show it," said Braman, whose team still managed to defeat six nationally ranked teams. "We've got seven weeks until championships, and we're seven weeks since we broke camp," Braman said. "I think we're going to good team at the end."

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
   4   Jakub Zivec                    4   23:40   
   9   Breandan O'Neill               9   23:56   
  23   Paul Lagno                    23   24:13   
  57   Zak Seddon                    57   24:35   
  59   Wes Rickman                   59   24:36   
  79   Josh Gracia                   78   24:47   
  86   David Forrester               85   24:52   
 115   William Bridges                    25:16   

10/05/2012, TALLAHASSEE, FL

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

Seminole Sweep.

Hosts get FSU Cross Country Invitational started with solid performances.

TALLAHASSEE, FL - The atmosphere was festive, the competition - solid - and when the final points were tallied from Friday's 40th anniversary of the first Florida State Cross Country Invitational, the Seminoles had swept the team titles.

By capturing both the men's and women's titles, the Seminoles scored their first sweep of the FSU Invitational crowns since 2006. Perhaps more impressively, they did it with only a handful of their top 10 runners in action, as Seminole coaches Bob Braman and Karen Harveyelected to train for next week's Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky.

"I think what we had on both sides was a couple of ACC runners - two on each side - and I think that fulfilled its role," said Braman, the FSU men's coach. "I felt like that went well."

The Florida State men trailed midway through the race to neighboring Florida A&M, but reeled in the victory with a strong back end of the race on a muggy evening at Apalachee Regional Park. The Seminoles prevailed by a 64-80 margin over the runner-up Rattlers, who paved the way in the field of 16 scoring teams and 162 runners of 8 kilometers.

"Today was a controlled effort the first two or three miles to help get as many of our teammates under 26 minutes, which was hard to do because of the weather," said FSU redshirt freshman Will Bridges. "Then I wanted to see how far up I could get from there and catch as many people as possible.

"A lot of people were coming back because there are two hills out here. [Former Seminole] Mike Fout was helping me move up."

Bridges, a redshirt freshman who was battling illness at last week's Notre Dame Invitational, finished fourth (25:18.2) to lead the Seminoles, with teammate Seth Proctor right behind in 25:26.8. It was the first meet of the season for Proctor, a graduate student, who was just cleared to compete.

Dominick Cabrera (15th, 26:12.9), Michael Wallace (23rd, 26:39.5) and Daniel Millay(25th, 26:44.0) rounded out the FSU scorers.

Harvey's Florida State women had a more comfortable cushion, knocking off Division II national power Tampa by a 72-101 margin.

The most seasoned Seminoles, senior Jennifer Dunn and graduate student Jessica Butler, finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in 21:49.0 and 21:59.1 to lead the way. Katherine McMeekin followed close behind in 11th (22:28.5). Freshman Christine Griggs (26th, 23:19.8) and classmate Kaitlyn Kelly(34th, 23:30.1) rounded out the FSU scoring runners over the 6-kilometer course.

Southern Miss senior Stephanie Ledgerwood captured the women's individual title, winning in 21:01.3. She can stake a claim to the course record as this was the first year the women raced over 6 kilometers.

On the men's side, Embry-Riddle's Evans Kirwa claimed top honors over the 8-kilometer course, establishing a new course record along the way in 24:40.0. He was followed across the finish by the Florida A&M 1-2 punch of Elias Chesire (25:06.1) and Shuaib Winters (25:09.9).

"It was a pretty good win," Braman said. "It didn't come easy. We had to do some running down. Florida A&M had three really good guys.

Braman was especially pleased with the efforts of Cabrera, Wallace and Millay, who were racing for the first time since early in the season.

"Dom Cabrera did a good job. I like the way he ran today. He ran first or second for us for over half the race was trying to do something special. ...

"It was great to have Seth [Proctor] back out there. He and Will, led by Mike Fout, just went through the course, got their splits ... and really did a nice job. They executed well. For me, we achieved a lot of objectives."

Braman is confident the 'Noles learned some lessons along the way by racing over the rolling course that he figures will lend itself to a tactical race when his team returns for the NCAA South Regional here on Nov. 9.

Count Bridges among those who figures to benefit from the experience and the confidence boost which came with his performance.

"It's good to show myself that I am capable of a lot more because I ran the same time today as I ran last week on a golf course in great weather [at Notre Dame]," Bridges said. "It lets me know I can run a lot faster."

As for the team win, Bridges said it demonstrates one of the obvious strengths that sets Braman's 2012 squad from other recent nationally-ranked teams.

"It shows our depth," Bridges added. "In the beginning of the season during our tempo runs there would be 20 guys all together."

For all of the racing, Braman was equally excited about the reviews the course received, not only from the college coaches, but those high school teams that ventured out and stuck around, and will return to compete Saturday morning.

"It was great excitement with the high school kids watching," Braman said. "A lot of veteran high school coaches who had been here before the course got in the shape it is now, or who had never been here before like Hall of Fame coach like Bobby Ennis, said, 'That is the most unbelievable course I've ever seen. That was really exciting for people like me and Brian Corbin, who macheted the first trail.'"

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
   4   William Bridges                4   25:18.2 
   5   Seth Proctor                   5   25:26.8 
  15   Dominick Cabrera              13   26:12.9 
  23   Michael Wallace               20   26:39.5 
  25   Daniel Millay                 22   26:44.0 
  32   Sean Quinn                    27   26:55.0 

10/12/2012, Charlotte, NC

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
  13   Sean Quinn                         25:07.7 
  18   Dominick Cabrera                   25:20.6 
  25   Daniel Millay                      25:35.8 
  46   Michael Wallace                    26:18.9 

PRE-NATIONALS, 4th place
10/13/2012, Louisville, Ky

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

A Win & A Fourth.

Top-ranked FSU XC women claim Pre-Nationals title; men a solid fourth.

By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com

LOUISVILLE, KY - The opportunity to get an early look at the NCAA Championship Cross Country course more than paid dividends for the nationally ranked Florida State cross country teams Saturday at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Meet.

Facing quality fields over a fast track at the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park, the Seminoles performed at a level equal to, or better than, their rankings while learning a bit about the course where they plan to conclude the season on Nov. 17.

Violah Lagat and Colleen Quigley finished fourth and sixth, respectively, leading the top-ranked Florida State women to victory over a field of 38 teams, including six other nationally ranked squads. The Seminoles edged fourth-ranked Oregon, 72-87 for the team title, with No. 8 Michigan (141 points) and No. 6 Georgetown (163) finishing third and fourth.

"That was close," FSU women's coach Karen Harvey said. "I was nervous there for a while. We learned a lot and saw some of the things we're going to have to get better. ... We just wrote our mid-term and did pretty well on it, but there's a lot more work to do before NCAA's yet."

The FSU men came to the meet ranked 14th - behind four others - and brought home a fourth-place finish. Jakub Zivec was 10th overall in 23:29.3 over the 8-kilometer course, followed by Breandan O Neill, who was 17th in 23:45.0. Seventh-ranked Colorado claimed the team title with 72 points, followed by No. 3 BYU (127) and No. 15 Oregon (153). The 'Noles finished with 275 points.

Along the way the Seminoles edged ACC contenders Duke and Virginia Tech, which finished fifth and sixth, respectively. They also picked up some quality NCAA Championship-qualifying points by defeating four nationally-ranked teams: No. 9 Tulsa, No. 12 Villanova, No. 20 Georgetown and No. 23 William & Mary.

"I thought we competed very well," FSU men's coach Bob Braman said. "For us, mission accomplished, if it was just to learn the course and get some points. There's no question we learned a lot. Now we've got to get ready for the final five weeks of the championship season."

Beyond the team performances, there were some especially impressive individual efforts by the Seminoles, who competed in the biggest, longest and most competitively deep meet of the early season.

Lagat became the third different runner to finish as FSU's top runner this season, a testimony to the Seminoles' quality depth. The senior co-captain was fourth overall in a personal-best time of 20:00.6 over the 6-kilometer course. More importantly for the team, she split up Oregon's touted 1-2 punch of Alexi Pappas and Jordan Hasay to set the stage for FSU's victory.

"It was very exciting to be with all the girls that were in the top 10 in NCAA Championship last year," Lagat said. "Coach just wanted us to run in the front with the leading group. ... I think it helped me because the entire race I could see them."

"I was definitely happy," Harvey said of the performance." Violah, just like outdoor track, is realizing she can be one of the best in the country and she definitely showed that today. ... I think there's more in the tank and I'm really excited about her going into ACC's and Nationals."

Quigley, coming off her victory at the Notre Dame Invitational two weeks ago, was equally impressive. She also established a personal-best time of 20:06.4 and her sixth-place finish on the heels of Hasay, the 2011 NCAA runner-up, bodes well for FSU's long-range plans this season.

Lagat, Quigley and senior co-captain Amanda Winslow ran together most of the way as the Seminoles waged war with the Ducks, who opened the season ranked No. 1 nationally and were clearly intent on reclaiming that spot. Winslow and fellow senior Kayleigh Tyerman played no small role in denying the Ducks, finishing 14th and 16th, respectively, in 20:15.9 and 20:22.3. Those spots, ahead of Oregon's No. 3 runner, helped the Seminoles secure the team title.

Senior Jessica Parry sealed the deal for the 'Noles with her 31st-place finish - three spots in front of Oregon's fifth and final scoring runner - in 20:45.9.

Zivec was pleased with his performance, but came away from the meet with a great appreciation of what the Seminole men need to do over the final five weeks of the season.

"As a team, we did OK, but we still need to step up if we want to win ACC's, which we do," the junior said. "It will be a challenge [during practice] the next two weeks. We have the talent and the potential. Now it's all got to come together."

Still, he is quickly proving to be one of the elite runners not only in the ACC, but also nationally. Coming off a fourth-place finish at Notre Dame, Zivec was anxious to see where he fit in among an even stronger field. He started conservatively, then men a huge surge, propelling himself to a 10th-place showing with a performance that could portend All-American honors in a few weeks.

"When we started, the first mile was probably as fast as the first mile at Notre Dame," Zivec said. "The whole team, we were much more ready. I felt much better; much fresher."

That showed when he made his move midway through the race.

"I was in the second group, chasing the first group, and I felt I could go faster and make it a great effort," he added. "I caught up with the back of the first group."

"It was impressive," Braman said of Zivec's big move, which thrust him into the thick of the lead pack.

On the men's side, senior Seth Proctor's first 8k race of the season produced a solid 55th-place finish in 24:05.0; third among all 'Noles. Paul Lagno (77th, 24:17.6) and Wes Rickman (116th, 24:37.0) rounded out the Seminole scorers.

Rickman best demonstrated the competitiveness of the Seminoles' effort, when he ran down Virginia Tech's Kevin Dowd - the Hokies' No. 5 runner - in the late stages, which allowed FSU to hold their ACC rivals at bay.

While Duke, which finished fifth with 287 points, packed four runners together between 39th and 52nd, the Seminoles were seemingly in a head-to-head battle with Virginia Tech all day. The Hokies finished sixth with 288 points.

"Duke did a nice job and we were able to beat a couple of really good ACC teams who had very good days," said Braman, who was pleased, but not satisfied with the overall performance of the men.

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
  10   Jakub Zivec                   10   23:29.3 
  17   Breandan O'Neill              17   23:45.0 
  55   Seth Proctor                  55   24:05.0 
  77   Paul Lagno                    77   24:17.6 
 116   Wes Rickman                  116   24:37.0 
 141   Josh Gracia                  141   24:46.7 
 219   Zak Seddon                   219   25:30.4 

10/27/2012, Blacksburg, Va

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

Five-Time Champions.

Violah Lagat leads the FSU women to their fifth consecutive ACC title; men finish third.

BLACKSBURG, VA On the eve of Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference Championship meet, Florida State senior co-captain Violah Lagat shared with coach Karen Harvey one goal she had been keeping to herself.

"Since the beginning of the season my goal was to win ACC's because I knew this was my last time representing FSU at the ACC Championship," Lagat said. "Also, I knew that it had been two years since someone from FSU had won the ACC [individual title], so I wanted to come and break that."

Lagat met her goal, pulling away from the field Saturday at Virginia Tech's Smithfield Plantation cross country course and leading the Seminoles their fifth consecutive ACC women's cross country title. She covered the 6-kilometer course in a course-record time of 20:00.1, with several of her Seminole teammates in close pursuit.

Florida State placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 14 spots and easily out-distanced runner-up Duke, 35-67.

"This is obviously a big goal," Harvey said of the team title. "It's not our primary goal, but it was a big goal to defend the conference title and then to have Violah Lagat take that individual title. ...

"She was talking about it the night before the race, just saying, 'I want to end the drought, coach. I want to end the drought.' And she was serious. I've been very blessed to coach a lot of great people and I think that was Susan Kuijken-like good. I'm really excited about her going into nationals. She is really coming on."

Kuijken was the last Seminole to win the ACC individual title when she collected her third consecutive crown in 2009.

The Seminoles very nearly had a sweep of the individual titles as senior Breandan O Neill stuck with the lead pack in the men's race before settling for a runner-up finish in 23:42.2 over the 8-kilometer course. The Florida State men reluctantly settled for third in one of the most hotly contested team title pursuits in years, with host Virginia Tech squeezing out the team win with 55 points. Virginia was second with 61, followed by the Seminoles a point back at 62.

"I felt like we competed pretty well today," FSU men's coach Bob Braman said. "Obviously it was a real good job for Brendo, Dave [Forrester], Wes [Rickman] and Seth [Proctor]. Did we have a few points out there that we could have had? Yes.

"To win the race we needed a healthy Kuba [Jakub Zivec], and he wasn't healthy."

While O Neill led the men's charge, the Seminoles received strong performances from a pair of senior veterans who have gradually been on the mend throughout the season. Racing for the first time in a month, Forrester finished 12th with Zivec, FSU's top runner throughout the preseason, right on his heels in 13th despite a tender foot. Those two earned All-ACC honors, along with O Neill, while Rickman finished one spot out of the running in 15th-place. It was Rickman's best competitive performance in nearly two cross country seasons.

"At the end of the day Virginia Tech ran extraordinarily well and Virginia ran really well," Braman said. "It was kind of hard to fault the effort. The course was really tough and home course advantage is really an advantage when it's hilly."

Though the FSU women did not dominate in the same fashion they had in 2011, when they tied the ACC meet record for the fewest points (20) in victory, the Seminoles were never really threatened. The nation's top-ranked team got out quickly on the course with seniors Kayleigh Tyerman and Amanda Winslow, along with sophomore Colleen Quigley, teaming up with Lagat in a huge lead pack.

"We can't forget that three other people helped her [Lagat] stay up there," Harvey said. "It wasn't just a one woman show. Now, after 4k it was, but she had her teammates there."

Each took a turn at the front of the pack before Lagat opened up the throttle and a lead with just over one kilometer remaining. At that point the outcome was a matter of Lagat re-confirming her commitment to being an elite cross country runner, something she had never really done before the start of her senior season.

"I had to work on that the whole summer, looking at myself doing well [in cross country], being an All-American and winning ACC's," said Lagat, who had always thought of herself as a middle distance runner. "I had to prepare myself mentally and physically.

"The girls help a lot. It doesn't just start in the race, it starts from the workouts. Every time we know we have a hard workout the girls come in and help me and push me to get out of my comfort zone. They're always there to push me. ... and having my teammates run beside me means everything, because it gives me the confidence to know that I've been doing this in the workout with my teammates."

Lagat flashed her middle-distance speed in the closing stages, leaving no doubt as to the outcome. Quigley and Tyerman chased Lagat across the finish line in fourth and fifth place, while Winslow placed 11th. In her ACC debut, freshman Georgia Peel was the fifth and final scoring Seminole, placing 14th overall to grab the final All-ACC slot.

"Georgia Peel saved the day, coming up for our fifth spot when Jessica Parry was having a rough day," Harvey said. "She really proved that if we need her to be, she can be our fifth runner."

Harvey also learned that fifth-year senior Jennifer Dunn, who enjoyed her best performance (24th overall) since narrowly missing All-America honors at the 2010 NCAA Championships, is back on track.

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
   2   Breandan O'Neill               2   23:42.2 
  12   David Forrester               12   24:12.1 
  13   Jakub Zivec                   13   24:14.8 
  15   Wes Rickman                   15   24:17.7 
  20   Seth Proctor                  20   24:29.9 
  26   Paul Lagno                    26   24:39.7 
  27   William Bridges               27   24:40.1 
  43   Josh Gracia                        25:02.9 
  87   Zak Seddon                         26:25.6 
  93   Sean Quinn                         26:44.9 

11/09/2012, TALLAHASSEE, FL

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

Playground Romp For The Men.

Seminoles chop up South Region competition for 10th straight NCAA trip.

TALLAHASSEE, FL- The Florida State men's cross country team turned the Apalachee Regional Park course into their own personal playground Friday morning, romping to a successful NCAA South Region title defense in dominant fashion.

Junior Jakub Zivec and senior Breandan O Neill led the celebration, saluting the home crowd with tomhawk chops as they crested the final hill, on the way to a 1-2 finish.

"Running this race on a home course was such a big advantage," said Zivec, who was awarded the win despite finishing the 10-kilometer course in 30:23.9, the identical time as O Neill. "We knew every turn, every part of the course. The spectators were awesome. They were cheering us on the whole way through. We had a tough race two weeks ago [at ACC] and today it was just really good for the whole team, especially before nationals."

The Seminoles clinched their 10th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance by placing five runners in the top 11; more than enough to out-distance runner-up Georgia, 27-48. The fourth regional championship in program history was all but decided heading into the final 1,000 meters.

"It's great to feel good in this meet and get our confidence heading into nationals and the real gig is next week," O Neill said.

Florida State handled both the move to 10-kilometers and the competition with a determined confidence that came out after a disappointing third-place finish at the ACC Championship two weeks ago, thanks in no small part to its veteran squad.

Senior Wes Rickman finished fourth (30:37.2), graduate student Seth Proctor was ninth (30:44.3) and senior David Forrester was 11th (30:48.9), rounding out the Seminole scorers. As an added bonus, freshman Zak Seddon turned in his finest performance of the year, placing 17th (30:59.3), followed by grad student Paul Lagno(22nd, 31:16.5).

It marked the first time in school history that the men had all seven runners earn USTFCCCA All-Region honors as top 25 finishers.

"This is a tough course," FSU coach Bob Braman said. "You don't run fast on this course and we had six guys break 31 minutes, so real pleased with that and even Paul (Lagno), our seventh guy, was 31:16. All seven guys ran well.

"I felt like we would peak at the right time. I felt like we were getting ready for the right meets. I felt like we trained well for the 10K versus the 8K. So you feel those things, but until you see it, it doesn't mean anything. They did a great job today."

The Florida State women set the bar high on the earlier race, managing a scant 24 points that the Seminole men nearly matched.

"Yeah, we always want to do the same thing as the girls and it always doesn't work out, but it did today," Zivec said. "It's a good team thing for them to get the ball rolling a little bit. We're just trying to keep it going."

Zivec and O Neill took charge midway through the second of four loops around the course, thanks to a little help from Proctor.

"When we ran we just knew all of the places where to speed up and when to slow down," O Neill said. "We've been packing up the whole race and we agreed before the race where we were going to push on and make our move. It was really reassuring to see us all in the pack. We knew we would be alright on that last lap."

It was Proctor who led the planned charge.

"Seth Proctor, a sixth-year senior, blows into the lead and stirs up the pack," Braman said. "That really helped us because at that time, we were pretty much dead even with Georgia and yet we still had two and a half miles to go. So Seth made the move, Brendo (Breandan O Neill) and Kuba (Jakub Zivec) just sat back and stayed together. Wes (Rickman ) kept his composure. Dave Forrester is as good as anybody that we got, he finished 11th today. ... It was really a good team victory today. You could have taken anyone of the guys out there, scored the 6th or 7th guy, and we still would have made it.

"Check mark on the 10th straight year to nationals - one of the longest streaks in the country. Now we have a more important race in 8 days."

The Seminole men will turn their attention to attaining a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships next Saturday in Louisville, Ky., something they have managed just twice in the program's history, most recently when they were runner-ups in 2010.

"That last lap was such a boost for our confidence heading into nationals," Zivec said.

"I feel like we needed a good one because we have been good and ok and kind of mixed results throughout the year," said Braman, whose squad has battled injuries to key runners since August. "What are we going to be at the end? ... They are coachable. We needed that momentum, for sure, going to the next one."

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
   1   Jakub Zivec                    1   30:23.9 
   2   Breandan O'Neill               2   30:23.9 
   4   Wes Rickman                    4   30:37.2 
   9   Seth Proctor                   9   30:44.3 
  11   David Forrester               11   30:48.9 
  17   Zak Seddon                    17   30:59.3 
  22   Paul Lagno                    22   31:16.5 

11/17/2012, Louisville, Ky

From the FSU Website, seminoles.com.

A Pair Of Surprises!

FSU women fourth, men fifth at NCAA XC Championships.

LOUISVILLE, KY The top-ranked Florida State women's cross country team placed three runners in the top 17 but was unable to match the top five depth of Oregon, which made off with the NCAA Championship Saturday under ideal conditions at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park.

On a day when the course ran exceedingly fast, Violah Lagat (11th, 19:52), Colleen Quigley (12th, 19:53) and Amanda Winslow (17th, 20:02) led the Seminoles' strong push from the front. Their All-American performances, however, weren't enough as the Seminoles finished fourth - after a lengthy delay to review results - with 202 points. Oregon claimed the title with 114, followed by Providence (183) and Stanford (198).

The fourth-place finish left Karen Harvey's squad to settle for their sixth consecutive podium finish.

On the men's side, in a performance that was eerily reminiscent of its 2010 NCAA runner-up finish, Bob Braman's squad put together an impressive run to finish fifth. The 18th-ranked Seminole men received All-American performances from junior Jakub Zivec (21st, 29:47) and senior Breandan O Neill (28th, 29:52), and equally stellar efforts from the senior trio of David Forrester (62nd, 30:26), Wes Rickman (77th, 30:31) and Seth Proctor (131st, 30:59).

Florida State finished with 238 points, trailing the four podium finishers - runaway national champion Oklahoma State (72), Wisconsin (135), Colorado (158) and Northern Arizona (191).

The fifth-place finish was the second best in school history for the Florida State men.

FSU Men's Coach Bob Braman

On placing fifth:

"It's very similar to 2010, but the difference was in 2010 we had guys that had really big summers and were really fit coming in. This was a duct-tape special to try and get through this season and just get everything."

"We left zero points out there. We got after it and I really think it helped to get in the mix (early in the race). That's all we had and I'm just really, really proud of those guys."

"I'm just proud of them. They believed in what we were doing."

Breandan O Neill - finished 28th to earn All-American honors

"I'm satisified with it. It's a team event in cross country. ... It's great to come out here and work as a team and look out for your teammates in the pack."

"It got tough out there but it was always on the agenda to work through the rough patches for the team so we could do as well as we could at the finish."

"The last couple of days you have to go to these events and change your armor a little bit. The team rankings - we were 18th-ranked - and that kind of annoyed us a little bit because we knew we were better than that. We were training for this 10k at the end of the season and not all of the preseason events and conference, like maybe some other teams were. We were thrilled to get No. 5 and prove some people wrong."

Violah Lagat - finished 11th to earn All-American honors:

"I'm really satisfied with the result because from the beginning of the season coach Harvey was emphasizing finishing in the top 15 would be a really good spot for me. I felt like fulfilling my assignment that coach gave me was the best thing for me to have done today."

"It was really tough. The first mile went out at 5:01 and I was close to 5:06, which is quite fast compared to what I had been running. Close to 4k, it really got tough and Colleen came up and she really helped me. She was calling, 'Come on Violah, let's go.' We were running together until when we had close to 600 to go then I started just picking up because I didn't want anyone to pass me."

On the team finishing fourth:

"It's quite disappointing ... because some of us didn't have a great day. It just hurts that we didn't make it and we came here knowing that we had everything that we needed to win this and it just didn't happen."

"We were really prepared. We knew that we had a chance."

Amanda Winslow - finished 17th to earn her third All-American honor

"It was a different kind of race, but I guess that's kind of how NCAA always is; you've got to get out and you've got to be aggressive. You can't expect people to come back to you. I'm really proud of the girls today and just the whole season.

"I'm just so blessed to be on this team, and to be on a team where I've been pushed the whole way, even in this race today. It was bittersweet."

Colleen Quigley - finished 12th to earn All-American honors

"Amanda took us out off the line and I followed her the first mile. She was leading the pack. I didn't know where Violah was at first, but she showed up before 3k and I followed her for the rest of the race and kept my little eye on her white bow and tried to stay as close to her as possible. I knew we were both in good position and if we could just finish together that would be huge for the team."

On the disappointment of finishing fourth as a team:

"I'm not sure if I'll have a chance at this again, even though I am young. This team that we've had this year we have been building for a while. This was kind of like our shot for a couple years. ... We just had so much experience on this team and so many seniors. We're definitely going to miss them next year and it's going to be a completely new thing."

Place  Name                       Points   Time
=====  =========================  ======  ========
  21   Jakub Zivec                   14   29:47.7 
  28   Breandan O'Neill              21   29:52.7 
  62   David Forrester               45   30:26.2 
  77   Wes Rickman                   55   30:31.4 
 131   Seth Proctor                 103   30:59.1 
 192   Zak Seddon                   158   31:34.1 
 224   Paul Lagno                   188   32:09.2