Florida State Men's Cross Country - 2013 Year In Review
Bob Braman, Head Coach
Josh Seitz, Volunteer Assistant
Click here to see individual mug shots
Bryce Kelley, Hope Valley, RI
Avery Lopez, Miami
Grant Nykaza, Beecher, IL
2013 Roster - By Name
R Name Cl Ltr Hometown (Prior School)
* Bryant Blahnik Jr Red Wing, MN (Red Wing/Missouri)
* William Bridges So-R * Orlando (Edgewater)
Jake Burton Fr-R Stuart (Martin County)
* Max del Monte Fr-R Tampa (Chamberlain)
Abdin Fator Fr Tampa (Sickles)
* Chris Godwin Fr-R Gainesville (Buchholz)
* Josh Gracia Sr-R * Lantana (Santaluces Community/Oklahoma)
* Kevin Johnson Sr-R Falcon, CO (Falcon/Cornell)
Bryce Kelley Fr Hope Valley, RI (Chariho)
* Avery Lopez Fr Miami (Belen Jesuit Prep)
* Matt Mizereck Sr Tallahassee (Leon/Florida)
* Kemper Morton Sr-R Macon, GA (First Presbyterian Day School/Troy)
* Grant Nykaza Fr Beecher, IL (Beecher)
* Sean Quinn Sr-R * Punta Gorda (Bishop Verot)
* Zak Seddon So * Reading, England (Piggott)
Otniel Teixeira So Orlando (Lake Brantley/South Florida)
Glen Yarham So Ipswich, Australia (Queensland Tech)
* Jakub Zivec Sr *** Litomerice, Czech Republic (Gymnazium Josefa Jungmann)
2013 Schedule and Results
|COVERED BRIDGE OPEN
|WAKE FOREST INVITATIONAL
|NOTRE DAME INVITATIONAL
South Bend, In
|FSU INVITATIONAL||2nd Place|
|ISU PRE-NATIONALS INVITATIONAL
Terre Haute, In
|NCAA SOUTH REGIONAL
Terre Haute, In
RefOverall Home Away Neutral ------------------------------------------------ FSU RECORD IS 0- 0 0- 0 0- 0 0- 0
2013 ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE RESULTS 1 SYRACUSE 64 2 NORTH CAROLINA 84 3 NOTRE DAME 105 4 VIRGINIA 108 5 VIRGINIA TECH 120 6 DUKE 137 7 FLORIDA STATE 145 8 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 154 9 GEORGIA TECH 256 10 WAKE FOREST 274 11 CLEMSON 341 12 PITTSBURGH 366 13 BOSTON COLLEGE 382 14 MIAMI 409
2013 EOY StatsTeam Overall Name Races Top 7 Top 10 Wins =============================================== Josh Gracia 6 6 2 0 William Bridges 6 6 2 0 Kevin Johnson 6 6 1 0 Bryant Blahnik 6 5 2 1 Zak Seddon 4 4 1 1 Matt Mizereck 4 4 1 0 Sean Quinn 4 3 1 0 Avery Lopez 4 3 1 0 Grant Nykaza 3 3 1 0 Max del Monte 3 3 0 0 Kemper Morton 3 2 1 0 Chris Godwin 2 2 0 0 Jakub Zivec 2 2 0 0 Glen Yarham 1 1 1 0
Seminoles Roll At Covered Bridge.
Seddon, Walker score individual wins in season-opening romp.
BOONE, NC - Controlled efforts by the Florida State men's and women's cross country teams produced lopsided team wins by the Seminoles Friday at the Covered Bridge Open, in the first competitive outing of the year.
The Seminole men and women shared something else in common aside from lopsided victories. Both teams wore purple Alzheimer's Awareness ribbons to honor the father of Florida State men's coach Bob Braman. Dr. Robert Braman lost his long battle with the disease last week.
Sophomore Zak Seddon cruised to the men's win in 25:41.43 and was immediately followed by senior Josh Gracia (25:43.52) across the finish line on the 8000-meter course (4.9 miles). The Seminoles claimed five of the top seven spots overall for 19 points to overwhelm the six-team field. Host Appalachian State was a distant second with 42 points.
On the women's side, junior transfer Hannah Walker spritely pulled away from the pack over the final mile to win her Florida State debut in 18:05.88 over the 5000-meter (3.1 miles) course, and lead a parade of seven consecutive Seminole finishers. Colleen Quigley was second (18:12.40) and freshman Anna Holdiman was third (18:20.89).
With a perfect score of 15 points, the `Noles out-distanced runner-up Appalachian State (59) and the rest of the six-team field.
"I was real pleased," Braman said, afterward. "Kevin Johnson ran his first cross country race in two years. He has been hurt and he survived it. You could tell Josh (Gracia) and Will (Bridges) did their work over the summer. (Glen) Yarham is going to get better. We're starting to form a team. I really like where we are."
Bridges, a redshirt sophomore, and Yarham a sophomore transfer, finished fourth and fifth in 25:59.03 and 26:02.49, respectively. Johnson, a transfer graduate student from Cornell, was seventh (26:08.94) to round out the Seminole scorers.
"We're getting some pieces together," said Braman, who opted to put several others through a workout prior to the race. "We're going to have some options that I didn't know we had. We're certainly in a better spot than I thought they were going to be."
Like the men, Karen Harvey's women's squad went out slow early and finished fast.
"We had a controlled start and then a nice press to the finish," said Harvey. "Overall we had a hard effort and got some rust out."
The Seminoles packed up early and the leaders stayed together through the finish. Sophomore Georgia Peel (18:23.56), junior Linden Hall (18:24.96), freshman Bridget Blake (18:34.26) and sophomore Pippa Woolven (18:36.07) rounded out FSU's top seven.
MEN 8K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 1 Zak Seddon 1 25:41.43 2 Josh Gracia 2 25:43.52 4 William Bridges 4 25:59.03 5 Glen Yarham 5 26:02.49 7 Kevin Johnson 7 26:08.94 33 Max del Monte 29 27:46.98
XC 'Noles: Tour De Force.
FSU teams roll through fields at Wake Forest Invitational.
KERNERSVILLE, NC- The objectives for the Florida State men's and women's cross country teams were quite simple at Friday's Wake Forest Invitational/Pre-ACC meet:
1) Get familiar with the Beeson Park course that will host the ACC Championship meet on Nov. 1, and; 2) Turn in a performance equivalent to a high-end workout, or early-season race effort.
The Seminoles mastered both tasks, and picked up a pair of lopsided victories against fields that included host Wake Forest, Clemson, Ohio University and Miami (Ohio), among others.
"We had great outcomes for mid-September," FSU women's coach Karen Harvey said. "Our workout crew executed and our race crew ran really well too. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to have a hard effort on the ACC course."
Junior transfer Hannah Walker (20:42.71) and classmate Colleen Quigley (20:59.8) cruised to a 1-2 finish over the twisting, turning and rolling 6000m course, outdistancing Ohio's Juli Accurso - an All-American and the Great Lakes Region champion in 2012.
FSU junior Linden Hall (21:09.79) and sophomore Pippa Woolven (21:16.192) were fourth and fifth overall, while sophomore teammates Georgia Peel (21:26.10) and Carly Thomas (21:34.74) placed seventh and eighth. The second-ranked Seminoles grabbed nine of the top 14 finishing positions and easily out-distanced runner-up Ohio, 19-59.
Freshman Anna Holdiman (10th, 21:40,94), grad student Jess Butler (13th, 21:53.36) and freshman Bridget Blake (14th, 21:59.22) rounded out the lead Seminoles.
Braman wasn't any less enthusiastic about the performance turned in by the Seminole men.
Bryant Blahnik, Matt Mizereck and Josh Gracia led a meet-clinching 1-2-3 sweep for the Seminoles over the 8000-meter course. The trio was separated by just .14 seconds as they crossed the finish line.
"The guy that was pushing the action was Josh," Braman said. "They really did a nice job. Will Bridges was right there. I'm real pleased with it, given what we were trying to do.
"They did exactly what we intended them to do and wanted to do. They shared the lead, worked hard and ran down some guys that went out really hard."
Blahnik, a transfer from Missouri, was credited with the win in 25:07.17, followed Mizereck (25:07.29), a Tallahassee native and transfer from Florida. Gracia, a senior co-captain, was next in 25:07.31.
Redshirt sophomore Will Bridges placed 10th (25:25.77) and Cornell transfer Kevin Johnson (19th, 25:46.0) rounded out the Seminole scorers. FSU, which is ranked No. 23 nationally, out-distanced runner-up host Wake Forest, 31-56 for the team title.
"I was pleased," Braman said. "It's a complicated course and not fast by any means. Being here was a really smart move. Hopefully it will pay off down the road. It usually does."
MEN 8K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 1 Bryant Blahnik 1 25:07.17 2 Matt Mizereck 2 25:07.29 3 Josh Gracia 3 25:07.31 10 William Bridges 8 25:25.77 19 Kevin Johnson 17 25:46.00 43 Sean Quinn 37 26:38.14
'Noles At Home By Golden Dome.
FSU women's cross country team wins its third consecutive Notre Dame Invitational title.
SOUTH BEND, IN - Sophomore Colleen Quigley did not successfully defend her Notre Dame Invitational cross country title Friday, but she and Hannah Walker showed the way as the Seminoles won their third consecutive team title at the prestigious meet.
Quigley raced her way to a runner-up finish over the 5,000-meter golf course layout, finishing in 16:52.2 on day when the weather was not much different than what the second-ranked Seminoles left behind in Florida. Walker, a junior transfer from Great Britain, led early and finished fourth in 17:05.2.
"We squeaked out the win and we were a little lucky," said FSU coach Karen Harvey, whose women have now won fourth Notre Dame Invitational titles in six year. "Colleen came from way back. I think she was a little worried early, started sniffing some people and came really hard at the end. Hannah worked really hard and pushed the pace. I wasn't unhappy with her race at all.
"I think everyone learned something today. We said it was the first exam, the first test, and we didn't know what to expect."
Still, she liked what she saw from sophomore transfer Pippa Woolven, junior Linden Hall and sophomore Georgia Peel, who delivered the team title with strong finishes.
"Pippa ran really strong late," said Harvey, who saw Woolven charge to a 19th-place finish (17:33.1). Hall and Peel were close behind in 22nd (17:36.1) and 30th (17:43.7), respectively. "They came hard at the last 200-300 meters and that's why we won."
Carly Thomas, FSU's No. 6 finisher, placed 40th (17:50.5). The Seminoles were the only team with seven runners among the top 70 (Anna Holdiman - 70th, 18:12.0) in the field.
The Seminoles finished with 77 points, edging No. 15 New Mexico (82) and No. 24 San Francisco (96), from a 24-team field which included seven nationally-ranked teams. Duke's Juliet Bottorf won the individual title in 16:43.8, but the fourth-ranked Blue Devils - the highest-ranked team in the field other than the Seminoles - placed 10th without the services of three of their top runners.
Coach Bob Braman's Florida State men came into at less than full strength as well and placed 10th out of the 27-team field. The 26th-ranked Seminoles received a solid performance from the trio of Matt Mizereck, Bryant Blahnik and Josh Gracia but did not have the horsepower to chase the front-runners.
"We had four guys within 21 seconds, which isn't bad," Braman said. "There are possibilities there. We just have to put things together. ... I thought we competed pretty hard. We just have to get better, that's all. I think we can get better and keep our streak going."
The Seminoles are chasing an 11th consecutive NCAA Championship meet appearance.
Mizereck finished 41st (25:10.3) over the five-mile course to pace the `Noles, followed closely by Blahnik (45th, 25:13.8) and Gracia (48th, 25:14.8). Grad student Kevin Johnson was 73rd (25:31.2) followed by Will Bridges (102nd, 25:48.5).
"I would have liked to have seen those two guys [Mizereck and Blahnik] up there fighting together," said Braman, who believes the Seminoles' long-term strength will be the ability to pack up. Likewise, he is also encourage by Gracia's progress from a year ago, when he finished 79th a year ago at the meet.
"If you keep putting those good ones together, that's when the bank opens and you get a big one," Braman said of Gracia, who has been solid throughout the early season. "The guys like Josh and Kevin are getting better each week. If we can put the talented guys with experience in there, we've got the pieces to really look good."
Though the 26th-ranked 'Noles finished well behind front-running Columbia (112), Tulsa (124) and Princeton (147) and did not beat any of the seven other ranked teams in the field, they also did not have All-American Jakub Zivec, Zak Seddon or Glen Yarham in the mix. That trio, expected to lead the way, is on the mend and Braman expects them to be ready for the postseason.
And being good at the end of the season is something both Harvey and Braman are targeting as they rebuild their respective lineups.
"I got some good feedback after the race in the warm-down," Harvey said of her charges. "They told me they can definitely feel the difference. They feel so much stronger and don't feel as fast. We've been working hard and I think it's going to pay huge bucks."
MEN 5-Mile RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 41 Matt Mizereck 41 25:10.3 45 Bryant Blahnik 45 25:13.8 48 Josh Gracia 48 25:14.8 73 Kevin Johnson 73 25:31.2 102 William Bridges 102 25:48.5 184 Avery Lopez 166 27:02.6 203 Grant Nykaza 179 27:53.2
Flying Start To FSU Invitational.
Quigley smashes course record as women roll; men strong in second.
TALLAHASSEE, FL - The Apalachee Regional Park cross country course was the big winner Friday night at the 41st annual FSU Invitational as record-setting marks were posted by the women's and men's winners in the first race on the upgraded course.
Florida State junior Colleen Quigley led a parade of teammates through the downhill finishing chute, shattering the previous 5,000-meter course record by 35 seconds with a winning time of 16:55.53. Quigley was the first of five consecutive FSU teammates to finish, leading to a perfect, 15-point winning team total for the Seminoles.
Florida A&M's Elias Chesire also took down the men's 8,000-meter course record, leading a 1-2-3 sweep of the top spots by the meet-winning Rattlers. Chesire's team of 24:39.10 nipped the old course record by a scant .90 seconds.
With four of the top six finishers, the Rattlers edged the Seminole men 32-43 for the team title.
Florida State graduate student Sean Quinn paced the Seminoles with a lifetime-best time of 25:05.27 to place fifth. FSU freshmen Grant Nykaza and Avery Lopez finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in 25:14.05 and 25:20.49. Teammate Kemper Morton closed strong to finish ninth ( 25:30.28) and Max del Monte (14th, 26:04.85) rounded out the scoring `Noles.
"Our young guys and our old guys - a couple of fifth-year seniors in Quinn and Kemper - did a real nice job," Florida State men's coach Bob Braman said. "I'm real pleased with the effort of the guys. You've got Quinn, Grant and Avery who are chasing a conference and a Pre-National spot. We need them to step up. ...
"The momentum seems to be going forward and they ran with a lot more confidence on this course."
While Braman sat out his top five in preparation for next week's Pre-National meet on the NCAA course at Indiana State, women's coach Karen Harvey put her A-team in uniform and instructed her top six to run controlled through the first two miles before blasting away over the final mile.
Quigley was the leader of that charge as the group moved through the pack with Hannah Walker (2nd, 16:59.95), Linden Hall (3rd, 17:04.20) and Georgia Peel (4th, 17:09.49) in tow.
Racing from the gun, freshman Anna Holdiman bounced back from a sub-par performance at Notre Dame to nab fifth place (17:30.39) and complete the sweep. Jessica Butler, who also raced the entire way, was seventh (17:36.25), while Carly Thomas was ninth (17:37.42) and Chelsi Woodruff finished 10th (18:10.25). Thomas was also part of the workout group.
"Our workout group was phenomenal," Harvey said. "They really tore it up that last mile and practiced that last 400 that is going to need to be awesome at NCAA's.
"I saw Jessica Butler and Anna massively improve from Notre Dame and they needed that; they needed some confidence. We need them. They're getting better for ACC's. Chelsi (Woodruff) was back in the lineup and Teresa Ristow. They're all an important part."
Harvey was also ecstatic over the performance of the Seminoles' B-team.
"Right through 32 (finishers), this is probably the best 32 we've ever had in the history of the program," Harvey said. "It's the best attitude. They all kicked it in. It was just nice to see us all in the huddle today, going out there and representing Florida State."
Friday's races served notice that Saturday's high school action should be fast in furious over the re-worked course, with the 10-race affair getting started at 7:45 a.m.
"It was a really good day all around," Braman said. "The meet was very well run, the officials did a good job and the course ran well. It's going to get faster. The wooded parts are just spectacular - they're running like a track - and the first two fields will get better."
"It was a great night; a great crowd," Harvey said. "The course? I can't even believe it. This is an NCAA course."
MEN 8K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 5 Sean Quinn 5 24:51.92 7 Grant Nykaza 7 25:14.05 8 Avery Lopez 8 25:20.49 9 Kemper Morton 9 25:30.28 14 Max del Monte 14 26:04.85 17 Chris Godwin 17 26:31.10
Morton, Butler Lead Seminole Cross County Squads At Crimson Classic.
FSU men 11th, women 10th against stout fields on testy course.
TUSCALOOSA, AL - Florida State graduate students Kemper Morton and Jess Butler turned in team-leading cross country performances Friday for the Seminoles at the Crimson Classic on the University of Alabama campus.
On the heels of a solid showing at last week's FSU Invitational, Morton finished 36th over the challenging 8,000-meter Harry Pritchett Cross Country Course, which will serve as the host site for the NCAA South Region on Nov. 15. The former Troy standout covered the distance in 25:45.17 to help the Seminole men to an 11th-place finish in a field of 23 teams.
Butler posted the highest finish of the day by a Seminole, placing 23rd in the women's 5000-meter race in 17:54.08. It was the second consecutive strong performance for the former Division II All-American from the University of Tampa. The Florida State women placed 10th out of 26 teams.
The Seminole men's and women's teams were comprised of runners battling for the final few spots on the ACC Championship meet roster. The balance of the two FSU teams are in Terre Haute, Ind., where they will compete in Saturday's Indiana State Pre-National meet at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, which will host the NCAA Championship meet on Nov. 23.
Sean Quinn (46th, 25:56.98), Avery Lopez (57th, 26:09.59), Max del Monte (69th, 26:19.94) and Chris Godwin (84th, 26:33.93) rounded out the finishers for the Seminole men, who finished with 280 points. Auburn won the men's team title with 45 points, followed by Texas-Arlington, Stephen F. Austin and Mississippi State.
Junior Chelsi Woodruff continued her comeback season by placing 35th (18:08.16) for the Seminole women, who also received scoring performances from Teresa Ristow (55th, 18:25.80), Christine Griggs (69th, 18:42.61) and Kaitlyn Kelly (89th, 18:57.70).
The Seminole women finished with 258 points in a meet won by host Alabama (54), which led a sweep of the top four spots by SEC teams fielding their full lineups.
MEN 8K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 36 Kemper Morton 35 25:45.17 46 Sean Quinn 45 25:56.98 57 Avery Lopez 55 26:09.59 69 Max del Monte 66 26:19.94 84 Chris Godwin 79 26:33.93
Pre-Nats Serve As Mid-Term.
FSU women 2nd, men 18th against loaded fields.
TERRE HAUTE, IN - Winning consecutive Pre-National Cross Country titles in each of the last three seasons put a bulls-eye on the back of the Florida State women's team as the NCAA Championship favorites. What it didn't do was accurately reflect what would transpire a month later when the Seminoles returned to the same course with a national title on the line, only to finish second, fourth and fourth.
To that end, Saturday's runner-up finish to fifth-ranked Georgetown at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational, may be just what coach Karen Harvey'steam needs as the championship season is about to begin.
Despite strong performances by Colleen Quigley and Hannah Walker, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, the second-ranked Seminoles came up 45 points short of the winning Hoyas (117-162). Georgetown's pack tactics, placing five runners within a 22-second span between Walker and Pippa Woolven, proved too much to overcome.
"Georgetown ran unbelievable," Harvey said. "They deserved to win. We didn't bomb to get second. We probably got a solid B+ on the mid-term. ... If we can respond, this could be really good for us."
Florida State men's coach Bob Braman came away from the meet realizing that his Seminoles still have much work to do in order to extend their streak of consecutive NCAA Championship appearances to 11 years. The unranked `Noles finished 18th in a field of 52 teams, led by senior Josh Gracia'shuge personal-best over the 8,000-meter LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
"Today did not move us forward," Braman said. "It was good to go out there and get beat up a little bit under tough conditions. ... It's going to take time. It's a new group and it's a learning group. We're not that there yet. Hopefully we can get a good one at conference and go ahead and continue that 10 year streak."
Outcomes aside, Harvey and Braman came away with a much more clear understanding of where their respective teams need to go as they prepare for the Oct. 31 ACC Championships in Kernersville, N.C. Both hope to be back on the Indiana State course when the NCAA Championships are contested on Nov. 23.
Quigley and Walker were in the thick of the individual title hunt right down to the final 400 meters. On a cold and windswept afternoon, Walker actually made the turn onto the 400-meter homestretch leading the field of 340 runners. The junior-eligible transfer from Great Britain paid for her big move to the front and was nipped at the finish by Quigley, as they crossed the line in 20:13.7 and 20:14.3, respectively, over 6,000 meters.
Woolven, a sophomore, turned in her finest performance yet as a first-year Seminole, placing 33rd (20:51.4). Junior Linden Hall, who moved up 20 spots on the field over the final 2,000 meters, was 44th in 20:59.3. Sophomore Georgia Peel rounded out the scorers in 77th postion (21:16.5), followed by freshman Anna Holdiman (94th, 21:24.1) and Carly Thomas(117th, 21:35.1). There were 340 finishers in the 51-team field.
"I'm glad this is just a mid-term," said Harvey, who admitted her most recent teams may have arrived at Pre-Nationals in championship form, only to fade a bit over the final month of the season. "All of the girls gave great feedback. All of them had something to say about here's what we need to do to be better. ... They said, `Hey, when we come back here ...'
"I reminded the girls immediately. `I know you don't like losing,' but I've trained this team differently than any team since 2007."
For the women, the focus now turns to extending a pair of streaks. The Seminoles have won the last five ACC Championships and have not missed a trip to the NCAA Championship meet since 2005, which includes five consecutive top-four finishes in the season finale.
Braman hopes his FSU men can follow the lead set by Gracia Saturday, who notched a 34-second personal best (24:12.8) to place 51st. Transfer Bryant Blahnik (89th, 24:31.9) and Matt Mizereck (93rd, 24:32.5) came in together, as did Kevin Johnson(192nd, 25:08.9) and Will Bridges (193rd, 25:09.1), to round out the Seminole scorers.
Johnson got off to a fast start, but lost significant ground over the final 3,000 meters, while Bridges moved up 35 spots over that same span.
Zak Seddon (287th, 25:47.8), racing for the first time since suffering a minor injury nearly a month ago, made it through the race unscathed. Freshman Grant Nykaza(318th, 26:14.7) rounded out the Seminole finishers.
"Josh ran a huge PR and the course was not fast," Braman said. "It was thick grass and soft from the rain all night. It was Josh's best collegiate race ever. He believed in his fitness, believed in his ability and went out and put together a great race.
"Matt and Bryant need to be up there with Josh. They're very gifted athletes. Will did a nice job. He just got out slow."
The Seminole men were second among five ACC teams in the, finishing 32 points behind 15th-place Duke, but ahead of Virginia Tech (19th), Georgia Tech (32nd) and Wake Forest (42nd).
MEN 8K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 51 Josh Gracia 51 24:12.80 89 Bryant Blahnik 89 24:31.83 93 Matt Mizereck 93 24:32.50 192 Kevin Johnson 192 25:08.90 193 William Bridges 193 25:09.01 287 Zak Seddon 287 25:47.79 318 Grant Nykaza 318 26:14.70
Six In A Row!
FSU XC women claim ACC title; men finish seventh.
KERNERSVILLE, NC - In a test of depth and late-race mettle, the Florida State women's cross country team pulled off its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Friday at Beeson Park, edging runner-up Virginia, 52-65.
Buffeted by rain, juniors Colleen Quigley and Hannah Walker led the Seminoles' charge, placing second and fifth in 20:13.9 and 20:25.0, respectively, over the 6,000-meter course. However, the strong finishes of Linden Hall (8th, 20:34.3), Pippa Woolven (18th, 21:03.8) and Carly Thomas (19th, 21:05.6), enabled FSU to pull out the victory and extend the second-longest title streak in ACC history.
"We found new depth on our team today," FSU women's coach Karen Harvey said. "We needed several people to step up in the last 1k of the race and they did. With three minutes left, we were behind and that's when Linden Hall, Pippa Woolven and Carly Thomas came through for us and saved the day."
Hall and Thomas passed a combined nine runners down the stretch, while Woolven, who battled illness throughout the week, held her ground as the `Noles overhauled the Cavaliers. The first five Seminoles earned All-ACC honors against the largest field of ACC teams in conference history.
"That was no joke," Harvey said. "That was a very, very difficult group to race. Having that many All-ACC was just outstanding. We had to run like that. We were losing at 5k. ... Pippa runs out of her mind. She looked done at 3k but held on.
"Linden Hall, I thought she had nothing left with 1k go, and came on again. Those three, they really, really ran great and Colleen and Hannah ran solid. They are still looking for more. Luckily they will have more opportunities anyway. We've got to get better. I'm just glad we were deep enough to do it."
The Florida State men finished seventh in a tightly-bunched race which saw ACC newcomer Syracuse run off with the title with 64 points. The `Noles finished with a total of 145 - just 40 points out of third place - behind a solid lead trio.
Senior Matt Mizereck (12th, 24:23.6), junior Bryant Blahnik (18th, 24:34.0) and senior Josh Gracia (19th, 24:35.2) earned All-ACC honors for their performance over the 8,000-meter race. Kevin Johnson (39th, 25:01.3) and Will Bridges (58th, 25:28.0) rounded out the scoring Seminoles.
Mizereck and Blahnik, transfers from Florida and Missouri, respectively, now have the distinction of earning both All-SEC and All-ACC honors in their careers.
"Objectively, I think we ran our best race of the year," FSU men's coach Bob Braman said. "I think our top three guys ran really well to make All-ACC, particularly Matt, who had a chance at a top 10 and spent a lot of the race up there. ...
"Forty points is not far in that race from third place. There were a lot of positives. We competed hard but we absolutely have to find a way to get the No. 5 guy with the No. 4 guy."
MEN 8K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 12 Matt Mizereck 12 24:23.6 18 Bryant Blahnik 18 24:34.0 19 Josh Gracia 19 24:35.2 40 Kevin Johnson 39 25:01.3 62 William Bridges 57 25:28.0 67 Jakub Zivec 62 25:34.1 68 Zak Seddon 63 25:37.7 69 Avery Lopez 25:39.1 76 Sean Quinn 25:49.3 98 Kemper Morton 26:28.7
One Streak Extended, Another Ends.
Quigley leads South Region women's romp; Blahnik NCAA-bound for men.
TUSCALOOSA, AL - One impressive Florida State streak came to a close Friday at the NCAA South Region Cross Country Championships, while another - actually two - were extended in impressive fashion at the Harry Pritchett Running Course Friday.
Despite a determined effort highlighted by a few season-best individual performances, the Florida State men saw their streak of 10 consecutive NCAA Championship appearance end with a third-place team finish. Champion Georgia edged Florida 72-73 to claim the two automatic NCAA berths on a damp and dreary day that saw the Seminoles finish with 101 points.
The Seminole women are headed back to the NCAA Championship on the strength of their fourth consecutive South Region team title, romping past runner-up Vanderbilt 35-116. Junior Colleen Quigleyused a tremendous closing kick to claim the third consecutive individual title for a Seminole, passing Florida's Cory McGee 50 meters from the finish line.
"I think we did everything we needed to do," FSU women's coach Karen Harveysaid. "We executed the race plan and really controlled ourselves, at least through 4k [kilometers]. It's hard to do that. It's hard to hold yourself back. I don't think they had a whole lot of fun out there, because they don't want to be held back right now. ...
"But if we don't hold ourselves back now, we've cashed a check that we need next week."
The fifth-ranked Seminoles will go hunting a sixth consecutive NCAA Championship podium finish - among the top four - next Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. It will be the eighth consecutive appearance at the championship for the women, which ranks as the sixth-longest active streak nationally.
FSU's tactical approach made the lopsided victory even more impressive as the `Noles turned in five All-Region performances, with Hannah Walker (fourth), Linden Hall (sixth), Pippa Woolven (seventh) and Carly Thomas(18th) chasing Quigley across the finish line.
"The basic plan was to go out and work together through 5k, stay relaxed and comfortable ... and then let loose and let the wheels do their thing and have fun with it," Quigley said. "We got swallowed up a little bit [at the start]. ... Everyone stayed calm and moved through the crowds."
Following the strategy to a tee, the Seminoles gobbled up the competition over the final stages of the race, turning a 47-point lead over Vanderbilt with two kilometers to go into an 81-point winning margin.
Quigley ran down McGee, who represented the United States in the 1500 at the World Championships this past summer, and won in 19:58.55.
"I was really, really pleased with the finishing speed of our top four," Harvey said. "They're getting sharper and sharper. It's great to have Pippa Woolven100-percent back. Her and Hannah had really big finishing speeds for them. Linden is strong and keeps getting better. ... To have Colleen come from so far behind and win the race, that was incredible."
"No one really cares who the regional champion is when you're at nationals," Quigley said. "It's about how you finish there. At the same time, my teammate Violah Lagatwon last year and [Amanda Winslow] the year before that, so it's kind of a Florida State tradition to have a regional champion. I was happy to continue that tradition."
Bob Braman's Florida State men, besieged by injury throughout much of the season, entered Friday morning's race confident they could continue the nation's seventh-longest active streak of NCAA Championship appearances. As it turned out, things began to unravel early when senior Matt Mizereck fell off the lead pack and Jakub Zivec faded just beyond the midway mark.
"Even as it stands we probably ran our best race of the year, but we didn't maximize," Braman said. "As it has been all year long we had potholes that we keep stepping in and today it was Matt Mizereckhad problems with breathing issues and Kuba [Jakub Zivec] fell off his scooter and sprained his shoulder 48 hours ago. Those are two of our most talented guys.
"Once again the other guys rallied up. We were close. We were in the mix with about a mile to go, but we just didn't pull it together. It's been that kind of year."
While the team will not be moving on to the NCAA Championships, junior Bryant Blahnikwill. The Missouri transfer turned in his finest race of the season, finishing eighth overall in 30:13.66 to claim an individual berth.
"He qualified individually for nationals so I'm sure that's a big goal that he had coming here," Braman said. "He'll be back next year to do even better."
Blahnik was one of four `Noles to claim All-Region honors as senior Josh Gracia (13th place), Zak Seddon (19th) and Kevin Johnson(23rd) each turned in strong performances, as did No. 5 runner Will Bridges (38th).
"The four All-Region [performers] and five scorers really stepped up and fought hard today," Braman said. "I have a lot admiration for the way they kept believing and kept trying to pull it off. In the end, you can't compete at this level with a bunch of broken pieces. You have to have all of your weapons and you have to perform well."
MEN RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 8 Bryant Blahnik 8 30:13.66 13 Josh Gracia 13 30:28.70 19 Zak Seddon 19 30:36.01 23 Kevin Johnson 23 30:40.69 38 William Bridges 38 31:01.76 50 Jakub Zivec 50 31:17.57
Quigley Sixth At NCAA Championships.
Junior leads Seminole women's cross country to eighth place showing.
TERRE HAUTE, IN - Junior Colleen Quigley delivered one of the finest performances in Florida State women's cross country history Saturday, placing sixth at the NCAA Championships to pace the Seminoles to an eighth-place team finish.
In frigid and muddy conditions, Quigley got to the front of the pack early and ran in the top 10 throughout, before securing the fourth-best finish by an FSU athlete - male or female - at the NCAA Championships.
"I definitely felt like it was my strongest race of the season," Quigley said. "I hadn't had that day where I just felt like Colleen Quigley (previously this season). I felt really strong; I felt really confident. Today I got out and stayed in the top 10 almost the entire time.
"I ran against my old Missouri friend Emily Sisson (from Providence) almost the whole entire race and I finally felt like that I had come into my own for the first time the whole season. That felt really good."
Returning to her Midwestern roots, the St. Louis native showed no signs of the problems that befell many on a day when the wind-chill factor dipped into the single digits. A quagmire - the result of rain over the last week - forced meet officials to move the starting line 110 meters on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course for safety reasons. Quigley was the highest placing individual for either the women or men from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"Colleen followed the entire race plan," FSU women's coach Karen Harvey said. "She went out hard. Even though she didn't feel comfortable, even though she was worried, she just stuck to it and gutted it out. It paid off. After the 3k she was racing the top people ... She got to have a real race and run at the front. How she handled the last kilometer was (impressive). She was hurting but she fought hard, she dug down and I'm extremely happy for her."
Quigley became the first Seminole to register a top 10-finish individual finish since Pilar McShine was ninth in 2010. Only former Seminole star Susan Kuijken, who sandwiched third-place finishes in 2007 and 2009 around a runner-up showing in 2008, ever finished better. After finishing 12th as a sophomore last season, Quigley earned All-American honors for the second consecutive year and the fifth time in her cross country and track career at FSU.
Collectively, the fourth-ranked Seminoles came into the meet seeking a sixth consecutive podium finish, which is reserved for the top four spots. In addition to Quigley, the `Noles received a few game performances, but settled for eighth with 278 points.
Top-ranked Providence won the team title with 141 points, followed by Arizona (197), Butler (200), Michigan (215), Georgetown (226), Michigan State (236) and Colorado (265).
Junior Linden Hall placed 48th as FSU's No. 2 finisher, followed by junior Hannah Walker (98th) and sophomores Pippa Woolven (106) and Carly Thomas (122). Freshman Anna Holdiman was 125th. All five were making their NCAA Cross Country Championships debut. Sophomore Georgia Peel rounded out the Seminole finishers (191).
"Colleen ran out of her mind," Harvey said. "Linden ran really well, especially since she has never been at this meet before. Carly fell down, got up and raced hard. ... Anna ran very well for a freshman and I'm excited about her future."
Still, the `Noles simply did not get the lower-stick scoring performances from several runners, which could have improved the team finish. Difficult footing and stiff winds placed a premium on getting out quickly at the start as there was very little movement through the pack from the midway point to the finish.
"I'm grateful that they get to redeem that next year because we're bringing everybody back, and we'll add a few," Harvey said. "This place, this result, is not who we are. We're not going to believe it and we're going to take it and remind ourselves that next year we're all coming back experienced - all of us. We're just going to learn from it. It hurts right now, but we've got to move on."
In the men's race, which preceded the women, Florida State's lone entry Bryant Blahnik finished 220th in his NCAA Championship debut.
MEN 10K RACE Place Name Points Time ===== ========================= ====== ======== 220 Bryant Blahnik 32:33.7