Nov. 9, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - With just two meets left in the season, Florida State's men's and women's cross country teams head into the home stretch in Gainesville, Fla. Saturday for the NCAA South Regionals. Both the men's 10k and women's 6k races will take place at the Gators' Mark Bostick Golf Course with the men running at 10:00 a.m. and the women at 11:00 a.m.
"It's a tale of two teams with two different scenarios," said head coach Bob Braman. "The women are the overwhelming favorite, but based on the NCAA qualifying formula, they have enough regular season wins over probable qualifying teams that they could finish as low as fourth and still qualify. But of course those kids want to win and Coach [Karen] Harvey has to balance the idea that you want to win a championship, but you also have to be ready for nationals nine days later."
The No. 3 FSU women's squad, fresh off the program's first ACC Championship, will face off with 45 teams from around the region including No. 25 Tennessee and No. 29 Georgia. Though the women have never won the meet, sophomore All-America and ACC Individual Champion Susan Kuijken did cross the line first last season in leading the Seminoles to a fourth-place team finish. A placement in the top two at this year's meet would mean an automatic bid for the Seminoles into the national championships, but with such a stellar season under their belts an at-large bid is not out of the question for the Seminole women.
"On the men's side we're about as healthy as we've been all season," said Braman. "We've had a lot of opportunities during the year to show what we can do, which is very important because you're not going to finesse your way to a national championship bid. We're in a position where we probably don't have enough wins to get a bid from third place, so we have to get one of those two automatic qualifying spots."
Last year's men's squad took home the championship crown in a runaway, 67-point victory. Though the men have struggled with injuries this season, things look up for the regional meet as senior Luke Gunn will return to the team and compete in his first race since the Notre Dame Invite in September. The men will take on 41 teams from around the region including No. 17 Alabama and ACC rivals Georgia Tech and Miami.
Results from the men's and women's races will be posted on Seminoles.com as they are made available.