Entering her eighth season, Florida State women's cross country coach Karen Harvey has transformed the Seminoles into one of the most powerful programs in the country.
An NCAA Championship contender and Atlantic Coast Conference juggernaut, the Seminoles know their way to the podium. Under Harvey's direction, FSU has six top-four NCAA Championship finishes, claimed six consecutive NCAA South Region titles and carried home the ACC Championship trophy seven times.
Florida State enters the 2014 season with the sixth-longest active streak of consecutive NCAA Championship appearances (eight); a stretch which includes back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010. An incredible run on its own merit, the streak is even more impressive when considering the Seminoles had made just three NCAA appearances prior to her arrival in 2007 and had not finished better that 18th.
Excellence, however, has become the new norm in Tallahassee, both collectively and individually. Beyond developing teams capable of producing championships at the highest level, Harvey's first six teams have produced 17 All-Americans, four NCAA South Region and four individual ACC champions. In 2013, Colleen Quigley backed up an individual NCAA South Region title with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championship meet. In 2012, Violah Lagat became the first Seminole to win the ACC title since Susan Kuijken rattled off three consecutive (2007-09), as FSU cruised to another team crown. Not surprisingly, Harvey has been selected ACC Coach of the Year each of her seven seasons, and won six NCAA South Region Coach of the Year honors in seven years.
In addition to her cross country honors, Harvey has oversight of the Florida State track & field women's distance team, which has enjoyed similar success. On the track the women's distance runners have earned 24 first-team All-America honors between the indoor and outdoor seasons and excelled at distances from 800 to 10,000 meters. Colleen Quigley placed sixth at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships in the mile, while Linden Hall was third at the Outdoor Championships in the 1500. In 2013, Amanda Winslow earned NCAA Indoor runner-up honors in the mile, establishing a new ACC record with the 10th-fastest time in collegiate history. Quigley's runner-up finish in the 3000 steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor meet ranked as the eighth-fastest mark for a collegian.
The `Noles have enjoyed similar success within the ACC ranks. With a 1-2 finish in the mile by Quigley and Hall leading the charge, the FSU women won the ACC Indoor Championships. Outdoors, Quigley claimed her second consecutive ACC steeplechase title, leading a distance team which piled up enough points to help the 'Noles to a team title to complete the ACC Triple Crown.
Throughout her coaching career Harvey has established a reputation for developing cross country stars from outstanding middle-distance runners, including 2011 World Championship track & field silver medalist Hannah England, Pilar McShine and Hannah Brooks. Her most recent protégé along those lines was Lagat, who capped her collegiate career in the fall by following up her ACC cross country title by winning the NCAA South Region meet, followed by a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championship meet.
Beyond performance-based results on the course and track, Harvey's teams have flourished academically, earning USTFCCA All-Academic honors both in cross country and track. Quigley earned ACC Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-American honors for the 2013-14 school year. Winslow swept ACC Indoor and Outdoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in 2013 and earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. Seminoles have also won four of the last five ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in cross country.
As a team, the Florida State cross country women have been the recipient USTFCCCA All-Academic honors in each of Harvey's seven seasons and never dipped below a cumulative 3.0 GPA. They have also been active in a wide range of community service endeavors.
Prior to joining the Florida State staff, Harvey turned Illinois into one of the finest cross country programs in the nation over a five-year run from 2002-2006. In her final two seasons, the Illini posted a pair of top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. The program made its first NCAA Championship appearance in 2004, placing 20th, then followed up by finishing fifth in 2005 - the highest in school history - and eight in 2006. The 2006 team delivered the program's first NCAA Midwest Region championship, which earned Harvey coach of the year honors. A pair of runner-up Big Ten Championship finishes are also the best in Illinois history.
Harvey launched her coaching career as a two-year, volunteer cross country and track & field assistant coach at her alma mater, Michigan, before taking the Illinois post.
She also enjoyed an impressive running career, both collegiately and professionally. In 1998 she was ranked No. 1 in the world in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. A native of Brantford, Ontario, Harvey was a nine-time member of the Canadian national team, including three World cross country teams. She is the former Canadian record-holder in the steeplechase (10:14.27) and finished fifth at the 1998 Goodwill Games in the event. In 2000, Harvey was Canada's top 1500-meter runner after clocking a time of 4:16 at the Boston Indoor Games.
Collegiately, Harvey collected All-American honors in both cross country and track at Michigan between 1991-1995. She was 21st at the 1992 NCAA Cross Country Championships and also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 1992 and 1995. On the track, Harvey finished eighth in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships and fifth in the 3,000 meters in 1995.
A 1995 Michigan graduate, Harvey received her B.A. in anthropology. She was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, winning the 1995 Scholar Athlete of the Year award.
Harvey returned briefly to competition in 2011, running her first marathon, where she captured the Tallahassee Marathon title in a course record 2:43.
• ACC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013
• South Region Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013
• South Region Women's Outdoor Asst. Track & Field Coach of the Year
2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013
• South Region Women's Indoor Asst. Track & Field Coach of the Year - 2013
• Midwest Region Cross Country Coach of the Year - 2006