FSU cross country women rack up academic honors
Harvey, Lagat claim ACC women's cross country honors
FSU women fourth, men fifth at NCAA XC Championships
FSU XC women chase elusive NCAA title; men hawking top 10 finish
Seminoles sweep South Region awards leading up to NCAA Championships
Passionate in her pursuit of perfection, Florida State women's cross country coach Karen Harvey has transformed the Seminoles into a perennial national championship contender in short order.
Now in her sixth season, Harvey has guided the `Noles to five consecutive podium finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, including 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 norm at FSU, which has rattled off five consecutive ACC titles and five NCAA South Regional crowns. Beyond developing teams capable of producing championships at the highest level, Harvey's FSU women have collected 13 All-American honors and four Regional Athletes of the Year, in addition to three individual ACC champions. Not surprisingly, she has won five consecutive ACC as well as NCAA South Region Coach of the Year honors.
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 `Noles have collected 15 All-American honors between the indoor and outdoor seasons, including four at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The `Noles have enjoyed similar success within the ACC ranks. Her runners established a new ACC Indoor Championship record in the distance medley relay and also got a title from Amanda Winslow in the 3000m at the 2012 meet. Outdoors, Hannah Brooks added a 5000m title. Since taking over the helm, Harvey's charges have excelled from 800-10k on the track.
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 medalist Hannah England to Pilar McShine, Parry and Brooks. Her latest protégé along those lines is Seminole senior co-captain Violah Lagat.
Beyond performance-based results on the course and track, Harvey's teams have excelled academically, earning USTFCCA All-Academic honors both in cross country and track. Hannah Brooks was the ACC Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2011 and earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors, completing her graduate degree with a cumulative 4.0 gpa. Collectively, the FSU women have never dipped below a cumulative 3.0 team GPA in her tenure.
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. In her final two seasons in Champaign, the Illini posted a pair of top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. After a 20th-place showing in 2004, Illinois produced the top finish in school history with a fifth-place finish in 2005, then followed up with an eighth-place showing in 2006.
In 2006 Illinois captured the program's first NCAA Midwest Region championship, which earned Harvey the first of her five USTFCCCA Region Cross Country Coach of the Year awards.
Before taking her first full-time position at Illinois, Harvey spent two seasons as a volunteer cross country and track & field assistant coach at her alma mater, Michigan.
Harvey enjoyed an impressive running career, both collegiately and professionally, and continues to compete today. In 1998 she was ranked No. 1 in the world in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. A native of Branford, 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 1,500-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 placed 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, was was a qualifying standard for the USA Olympic Trials.
Harvey is married to four-time NCAA champion, three-time Olympian and co-owner of Capital City Runners store Kevin Sullivan.