EARLYSVILLE, Va. – Utilizing its season-opening meet to get a glimpse at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships course, the nationally-ranked Florida State men’s and women’s cross country teams accomplished that portion of the mission and picked up some victories to boot.
With its top runners working together in a pack at less than all-out pace, the third-ranked Florida State women were able to post a 4-1 record against the field at the UVa Duals on the testy Panorama Farms course.
Veterans Linden Hall, Colleen Quigley, Pippa Woolven and Georgia Peel claimed finishing spots 5-8, in that order, as the crossed the line at the end of the non-traditional 4000-meter course within a second of one another, between 14:29 and 14:30. Freshman Chelsea Jarvis was 13th overall (14:50), followed by redshirt freshman Bridget Blake in 15th (14:54).
The strategy and effort was good enough to defeat host Virginia (15-40), James Madison (17-38), Liberty (15-40) and Norfolk State (15-40), but not enough to beat the hard-racing effort of Duke, which claimed the first four spots and a 19-36 win over the Seminoles.
"Coming to the ACC course early in the season is a tradition," FSU women's coach Karen Harvey said. "We came to check out the course and get a workout in on the hills. Everything went as planned; mission accomplished.
"We got a good look at the challenging parts on the course so that we can physically and mentally prepare for the battle on October 31 to defend our ACC title."
FSU men’s coach Bob Braman chose a similar tactic with his team, which did not include a single runner who competed at last year’s NCAA South Region meet.
Tyler Udland (12:43), Glen Yarham (12:43), Otniel Teixeira (12:44), Antony Taylor (12:46), Stanley Linton (12:46) and Bryce Kelley (12:54) streamed across the finish in positions 6-11, leading the Seminoles to a 3-1 record. Virginia handed FSU its lone loss by a narrow 26-29 margin, while the ‘Noles topped Duke (25-30), Norfolk State (15-30) and Liberty (15-30).
Braman was encouraged by what he saw from his team, which enters the season ranked No. 24 nationally.
“I was really pleased with our pack running today,” Braman said. “We ran seven guys who've never run a meet together before and seven guys who've never run an ACC cross country meet. We really needed to see this course. It is a bear.”
The Seminoles will spend the remainder of the weekend training in the rolling hills and cooler temperatures of Virginia. Both teams will return to competitive action on Sept. 19 at the Virginia Tech Invitational for the second of three trips into the Commonwealth this season. The ACC Championships are scheduled for Oct. 31 back at Panorama Farms.