Oct. 2, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Colleen Quigley and Jakub Zivec turned in outstanding efforts at Friday's Notre Dame Invitational and have been recognized as the Atlantic Coast Conference women's and men's Performers of the Week.
It's the second sweep of season by the nationally ranked Seminole cross country teams, who have now combined for five Performer of the Week honors by the conference through the first five weeks of the season.
Quigley, a sophomore, turned in the finest performance of her collegiate career en route to capturing the individual championship in the Notre Dame Blue Division race. The St. Louis, Mo. native led the second-ranked Seminoles to the runaway team title, covering the 5-kilometer course in 16:29, shattering her previous best time over that distance by more than 50 seconds.
With the victory, the Seminole women climbed to No. 1 in the USTFCCCA Coaches poll.
Under near-perfect racing conditions, Quigley posted the fifth-fastest winning time in the 26-year history of the meet. It was also the second-fastest 5k time in Florida State women's cross country history, trailing only the 16:26 mark established by four-time All-American Susan Kuijken on the same course in 2008. Her effort comes on the heels of an outstanding freshman season, when she earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors in cross country and followed up with an All-American finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the steeplechase.
The Seminoles routed the 18-team field with a meager 28 points as Quigley was one of four FSU runners among the first seven finishers.
Zivec, a junior, guided the Seminoles to a fourth-place team finish out of 20 teams by finishing fourth. The Litomerice, Czech Republic native, who is also coming off a strong outdoor track season, blazed away around the 5-mile circuit on the Notre Dame golf course in a personal-best time of 23:40.
His performance was the continuation of what is stacking up to be a strong fall season. Two weeks earlier, at the Virginia Tech Invitational/Pre-ACC meet, Zivec finished second to freshman teammate Zak Seddon.
Zivec, known as "Kuba" to his teammates, battled back from injury last spring and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in the 1500-meter run and narrowly missed advancing to the championship meet.
At Notre Dame, he teamed with Breandan O Neill to give the `Noles a pair of top 10 finishers as FSU posted a score of 152 points, just 13 shy of a second-place finish and 48 short of the team title won by Tulsa.
Women ascend to No. 1 nationally, again
The Seminoles claimed 11 first-place votes this week and jumped Washington for the top spot after running roughshod over the field at the Notre Dame Invitational. FSU spent five weeks at No. 1 in 2011, and finished there in the final regular season poll before posting a fourth-place NCAA Championship finish.
Arizona climbed 10 spots to No. 2 nationally, and is followed by Washington and Oregon, which claimed the only other first-place vote. Iowa State, Georgetown, Stanford, Michigan, Cornell and Michigan State round out the top 10. Florida State is the only ranked cross country team in the state.
The Florida State men slipped four notches to No. 14 after a fourth-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational, but like the women, remain the only Florida school ranked in the top 30 nationally.
Gigantic Florida State Invitational set for Friday and Saturday
FSU's home course, which will host both the NCAA South Region and Florida High School Athletic Association's State Championship meets in November, will be the scene for the largest cross country meet in Tallahassee history. More than 20 collegiate programs will get the two-day affair underway Friday with the women's 6-kilometer race starting at 6:15 p.m. - a change by five minutes from the initial schedule - followed by the men's 8-kilometer race at 6:45 p.m.
Saturday's high school competition, which includes most of Florida's top powers as well as a few strong programs from Georgia, will include a 12-race schedule and get started with the Gold (Elite) Division races at 7:40 a.m (boys) and 8:05 (girls). In addition to eight varsity races - four each for boys and girls - there will be four junior varsity races.
In all 96 complete boys teams and 91 girls teams, plus a handful of individuals, will compete. In all, more than 2,000 runners are expected to race over the ARP course that is home to the FSU cross country program.
In addition to the highly competitive racing, which will be captured with live results posted throughout the races on a giant GoTron board, there will be a large Nike merchandise tent with music and interactive activities.
There is no admission charge for either day.