Oct. 13, 2007
Terre Haute, Ind. - Behind sophomore All-American Susan Kuijken's best 6k time to date (19:56) Florida State dominated the competition at NCAA Pre-Nationals, finishing second behind No.1-ranked Stanford. Led by senior Mark Buckingham, the Seminole men also had a good performance to finish 14th.
"What the women did today was nothing short of spectacular," said head coach Bob Braman. "Coming in second behind the reigning national champions is just--you can't describe it as anything but spectacular. Susan did exactly what she had to do to win and it was just a real exciting race for the ladies."
Kuijken, who is undefeated this season with three first-place victories, outran her nearest competition by a full five seconds, scoring the first of the Seminoles' 123 points. After tying the defending champs at the race's halfway point, Florida State finished just 21 points behind Stanford. Among the other teams left in the Seminoles' wake were No. 4 Minnesota, No. 7 Rice, No. 9 Michigan State and ACC rivals No. 16 Boston College.
Senior Barbara Parker crossed the line in 20:39 to finish second for the Seminoles as she notched an 11th-place finish in her first race of the season. Sophomore Hannah England finished next at 14th, with a time of 20:44. Senior Debbie Huss scored fourth with a 35th-place 21:02 mark and freshman Pilar McShine rounded off the Seminoles' top five in 62nd with a time of 21:22. All five set personal bests in the 6k race.
The men's team also set a number of personal records at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
"Five of our top six finishers for the men ran their lifetime bests today," said Braman. "I'm very pleased with the guys' effort and we feel pretty good about where we are, having knocked off a couple of ranked teams."
Buckingham, Florida State's top scorer for the men, crossed the line in 28th place at 23:52, setting a personal-best and tying former Seminole Tom Lancashire for the fourth-fastest 8k time in school history. Sophomore Daniel Roberts finished next in 63rd with a time of 24:14, followed by junior Steeve Gabart in 66th (24:15), freshman Matt Leeder in 87th (24:31) and junior Nick Sunseri in 105th (24.42).
Among the teams who finished behind the men were No. 22 Villanova, No. 27 Washington, conference rivals Clemson and in-state rivals Florida.
Following a week off, Florida State will travel to Charlottesville, Va. Oct. 27 to compete in the ACC Championships before starting preparations for the NCAA South Region Championships in Gainesville, Fla. Nov. 10. The Seminoles will return to Terre Haute for the NCAA Championships Nov. 19.
Women's Team Results: