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Seminoles win sixth-straight title; Duke’s Juliet Bottorff claims individual title
KERNERSVILLE, N.C. – Florida State placed three runners among the top eight finishers to win its sixth-straight ACC Women’s Cross Country Championships on a rainy Friday morning at Beeson Park in Kernersville, N.C.
Duke’s Juliet Bottorff won the women’s individual title, finishing the 6k course in 20:05.9 to hold off FSU’s Colleen Quigley who came across eight seconds later in 20:13.9.
Quigley, a junior, led three Seminoles in the top eight finishers and five in the top 20, as Florida State finished with 52 points, 13 ahead of second-place Virginia.
“We found new depth on our team today,” said Florida State head coach Karen Harvey. “We needed several people to step up in the last 1k of the race and they did. With three minutes left, we were behind and that's when Linden Hall, Pippa Woolven and Carly Thomas came through for us and saved the day.
“We are very happy to have defended our title today. It was all about who was going to be the toughest today. I'm really proud of this team.”
Bottorff is the first Duke runner to win the individual conference crown since the Blue Devils’ Sally Meryerhoff and Shannon Rowbury won consecutive titles in 2004 and 2005.
“It was a fun race for me,” said Bottorff. “Being only an hour away from this course, we were able to come out here a couple of times during the year to practice, so I was really comfortable with the course. I just managed my pace for the first 4K and was able to push it from there.”
Bottorff, a senior who finished just ahead of Quigley for third place at last year’s ACC meet, led the pack at the 4k mark and held on for the win.
“I wanted to win,” added Bottorff. “I wanted it pretty bad after finishing third last year. I had some very good competition in this race, and I knew it wasn't going to be handed to me.
“The rain wasn't much of a factor for me. I think we actually traded out the wind for the rain in our race. The rain benefits some of us because it cools us off. The rain actually makes the race a little more fun for me.”
Boston College junior Liv Westphal finished third behind Bottorff and Quigley in 20:15.9. Virginia senior Barbara Strehler was fourth in 20:20.8, while Florida State junior Hannah Walker took fifth in 20:25.0
In their first-ever ACC championship, Syracuse and Notre Dame placed third and fourth, respectively, with 108 and 124 points. Duke rounded out the top five with 130 points.