Junior leads Seminole women's cross country to eighth place showing
Seminole XC women, Blahnik geared up for NCAA Championships
Quigley leads South Region women's romp; Blahnik NCAA-bound for men
FSU XC men eye 11th NCAA appearance; women' streak at seven
FSU XC women claim ACC title; men finish seventh
Now in her seventh 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 finished in the top four at the NCAA Championship meet for six consecutive seasons, claimed five NCAA South Region titles and carried home the ACC Championship trophy six times.*
Florida State enters the 2013 season with the sixth-longest active streak of consecutive NCAA Championship appearances (seven); 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 16 All-American, three NCAA South Region athletes of the year and four individual ACC champions. 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 six seasons, and won five NCAA South Region Coach of the Year honors in six 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 22 first-team All-America honors between the indoor and outdoor seasons and excelled at distances from 800 to 10,000 meters. 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. Colleen 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. At the 2013 indoor championships, Winslow won her second consecutive 3000-meter title in meet record time and also helped the distance medley relay smash their own year-old conference mark. Outdoors, Quigley claimed her first individual ACC title in the steeplechase and Winslow led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 5000 as the Seminoles very nearly pulled out the team title.
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. 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 three of the last four 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 six 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.
Harvey is married to Kevin Sullivan, a four-time NCAA champion, three-time Olympian and co-owner of Capital City Runners. Sullivan also serves as a volunteer assistant for the FSU women's cross country team.