Sept. 28, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. - In the first major race of the season, Florida State dominated competition at the Notre Dame Invitational as the No. 12-ranked women finished the 5k race in third with 141 points and the No. 24-ranked men took fifth in the 8k with 147 points. Sophomore All-America Susan Kuijken crossed the line first in the women's run.
"We did a good job," said head coach Bob Braman. "It definitely served its purpose for us. On the women's side, we beat some highly ranked women's teams, which is really going to help us."
In the women's race, Florida State out-ran two higher ranked opponents--No. 2 Michigan and No. 11 Providence, marking the Seminoles' first victory over the Wolverines in program history. FSU topped the ACC competition in the 21-team field as they finished ahead of No. 16 NC State and No. 21 Boston College.
Following Kuijken's (Nijmegen, Netherlands) first-place, 16:32 finish, freshman Hannah England (Oxford, England) crossed the line second for FSU in 14th with a time of 17:16. Senior Debbie Huss (Wyomissing, Pa.) finished next in 29th (17:36) followed by ACC Cross Country Performer of the Week, freshman Pilar McShine (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) in 34th (17:40). Senior Kirsten Hagen (Blacksburg, Va.) rounded out the top scorers for the Seminoles in 64th (17:59).
Senior Luke Gunn (Forest Gate, England) finished first for the men, crossing the line with a 12th-place time of 24:13 after a disappointing leg cramp in the last few yards of the race pulled him dropped him out the sixth spot. Fellow senior Mark Buckingham (Huddersfield, England) finished next for the Seminoles with a 26th-place time of 24:28. Freshman Matt Leeder (Brockville, Ontario) finished next in 29th (24:30), followed by sophomore Daniel Roberts (Vicksburg, Michigan) in 36th (24:38) and junior Steeve Gabart (Miami, Fla.) in 44th (24:48).
The men's team finished ahead of No. 17 Brigham Young and No. 25 Michigan as well as ACC opponents No. 26 Boston College and Clemson the 23-team field.
"On a perfect day, the men could have been a little higher," said Braman, "but it was still a good effort. The first five finishers on both teams were pretty solid."
Both the men's and women's teams have a history of success at Notre Dame, as this year marked the fourth-consecutive top-10 finish for the men and the second for the women.
Notre Dame Invite Top Five Team Finishes