NCAA ACCtion: #ACCXC Teams Compete at Nationals

Quigley Sixth At NCAA Championships, Leads Seminoles to Eighth-Place Showing

Junior Colleen Quigley delivered one of the finest performances in Florida State women's cross country history Saturday, placing sixth at the NCAA Championships to pace the Seminoles to an eighth-place team finish.

In frigid and muddy conditions, Quigley got to the front of the pack early and ran in the top 10 throughout, before securing the fourth-best finish by an FSU athlete - male or female - at the NCAA Championships.

Returning to her Midwestern roots, the St. Louis native showed no signs of the problems that befell many on a day when the wind-chill factor dipped into the single digits. A quagmire - the result of rain over the last week - forced meet officials to move the starting line 110 meters on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course for safety reasons. Quigley was the highest placing individual for either the women or men from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Quigley became the first Seminole to register a top 10-finish individual finish since Pilar McShine was ninth in 2010. Only former Seminole star Susan Kuijken, who sandwiched third-place finishes in 2007 and 2009 around a runner-up showing in 2008, ever finished better. After finishing 12th as a sophomore last season, Quigley earned All-American honors for the second consecutive year and the fifth time in her cross country and track career at FSU.

Collectively, the fourth-ranked Seminoles came into the meet seeking a sixth consecutive podium finish, which is reserved for the top four spots. In addition to Quigley, the `Noles received a few game performances, but settled for eighth with 278 points.

Top-ranked Providence won the team title with 141 points, followed by Arizona (197), Butler (200), Michigan (215), Georgetown (226), Michigan State (236) and Colorado (265).

Junior Linden Hall placed 48th as FSU's No. 2 finisher, followed by junior Hannah Walker (98th) and sophomores Pippa Woolven (106) and Carly Thomas (122). Freshman Anna Holdiman was 125th. All five were making their NCAA Cross Country Championships debut. Sophomore Georgia Peel rounded out the Seminole finishers (191).

Still, the `Noles simply did not get the lower-stick scoring performances from several runners, which could have improved the team finish. Difficult footing and stiff winds placed a premium on getting out quickly at the start as there was very little movement through the pack from the midway point to the finish.

In the men's race, which preceded the women, Florida State's lone entry Bryant Blahnik finished 220th in his NCAA Championship debut.

UVa Women Ninth, Men 13th at NCAA Cross Country Championships

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Virginia cross country teams concluded the 2013 season with strong performances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. The Cavalier women had their first top-10 finish in 12 years, placing ninth, while the men finished in 13th place for their best finish in six years.

The Virginia women finished ninth, their best finish since placing ninth at the 2001 meet. It is the fourth top-10 finish in school history.

Senior Barbara Strehler (Richmond, Va.) earned All-American honors with a 24th-place showing, crossing the line in 20:35.3. It marked the third-consecutive year that Virginia has had a women's cross country All-American.

First-year Maria Hauger (Shakopee, Minn.) was the next Cavalier to finish, coming across in 63rd place. Junior Kathleen Stevens (Blacksburg, Va.) was 74th, sophomore Cleo Boyd (Kingston, Ont.) was 100th and senior Vicky Fouhy (Buckinghamshire, England) was 130th to round out the scoring five.

The Cavalier men finished in 13th place, their highest finish since a 12th-place performance in 2007. It was a one-place improvement from last season when Virginia finished 14th at the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Kyle King (Yorktown, Va.) led the Cavaliers, crossing the line in 18th place in a time of 30:27.3 to earn All-American honors. It was the highest individual finish in program history, surpassing the 19th place finish by Timothy Springfield in 1984. He is the fifth Cavalier men's cross country All-American in the past six years.

Following King for Virginia was senior Thomas Porter (Fredericksburg, Va.), who concluded his collegiate cross country career with a 63rd-place finish. Three first-years rounded out the Cavalier scoring five with redshirt-freshmen Zach Herriott (Kansas City, Mo.) and Adam Visokay (Ruckersville, Va.) placing 93rd and 123rd, respectively, and true-freshman Thomas Madden (Front Royal, Va.) crossing in 157th place.

Syracuse Men's XC Places Program-Best 10th, Women Take 22nd At Nationals

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—The Syracuse cross country team wrapped up its season at the NCAA Championships on Saturday. The men's team finished a program-best 10th at the national race while the women's team took 22nd place overall.

Robert Molke finished in a team-high 51st place with a time of 30:55.0 in the 10 kilometer race. His time was just over a minute slower than the NCAA individual champion, Edward Cheserek from Oregon, who finished with a time of 29:41.1. He missed placement as an All-American by just under 10 seconds.

The other four SU point scorers include Griff Graves (55th place), MJ Erb (59th place), Martin Hehir (113th place) and Ryan Urie (127th place).

Margo Malone was the top finisher for the women's team, taking 49th place overall with a time of 20:53.5. She would have qualified as an All-American if she had finished just under seven seconds faster.

Meredith Speakman (110th place), Brianna Nerud (133rd place), Alexandra Clinton (174th place) and Sydney Leiher (192nd place) were the other Syracuse point scorers.

The Orange men cracked the top-10 for the first time ever, beating its previous-best finish of 14th place. The team totaled 329 points in the race and the women's team finished with 516 points.

Duke's Bottorff Places 21st to Earn All-America Honors

Terre Haute, Ind. – Graduate student Juliet Bottorff became just the fourth Blue Devil in school history to earn multiple cross country All-America honors and the first since Maddie McKeever in 2007. Bottorff’s second cross country All-America honor of her collegiate career came Saturday, Nov. 23, in Terre Haute, Ind., after she placed 21st overall at the NCAA National Championship. Bottorff’s first cross country All-America accolade came at last year’s national championship where the Newark, Del., native placed 27th overall.

Heavy rains fell on the course earlier in the week causing messy racing conditions for the 254 harriers that toed the line. Race officials were forced to move the starting line 110 meters closer to the finish to allow proper footing for the competitors.

Iona’s Kate Avery raced to the front early, while Bottorff settled into the chase pack, passing the 2,000-meter mark in 44th place. Bottorff continued working through the field, moving up 18 positions by the 4,000m mark, splitting a 13:22.5. Over the final 2,000m, Bottorff advanced an additional five positions, crossing the finish line in a time of 20:33.0. The Blue Devil averaged 5:30 per mile over the 6,000m LaVern Gibson Championship cross country course.

With her 21st-place finish, Bottorff received her sixth All-America accolade, two of which were earned in cross country and four of which came on the track.


UNC's LeHardy Earns All-America, Men 17th At NCAAs

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Annie LeHardy won All-America honors on Saturday at the 2013 NCAA National Championships for her 25th place finish in the women’s 6K race. The Carolina men placed 17th in the team final, their highest team finish at the championships since 1985.
“We talked about it and we knew she was suited to this kind of course and if she got out in position she wouldn’t get passed,” said head coach Mark VanAlstyne after the All-America awards were given out. “It was a fantastic effort by Annie and I’m thrilled for her to get the All-America honor.”
LeHardy, a junior, was in 41st at the 2K split and surged into the top 20 spots during the middle third of the race. She ultimately finished 25th in 20:37.3 to earn her first All-America honors of her collegiate career. 
“On the stretch [Annie] was tremendously strong,” said Coach VanAlstyne, “Getting top-25, bringing her back next year with Lianne Farber and the rest of the team, we’re really looking forward to seeing what those guys could do in the future.”
This was LeHardy’s first time qualifying for the NCAA Championship as an individual, doing so with an automatic bid based on her performance at the NCAA Southeast Regional on November 15th.
“Overall it was a really good day. In the men’s race we weren’t paying attention to the rankings. We had aspirations to finish top 10 and we knew if we had a great race there was a shot,” said Coach VanAlstyne, “I’ve got to hand it to the guys, we took a shot. We had three to four guys in the top 45 for most of the race.
The Tar Heel men competed in their first national championship meet since 1991, placing 17th. It was the team’s highest finish since placing fifth in 1985, which was the highest team finish ever. 
Leading the way for Carolina was Ryan Walling in 64th in 31:01.0. Next up for the Tar Heels was Pat Schellberg in 80th (31:09.0) followed by John Raneri in 88th (31:14.0). Closing out the top-five scorers were Isaac Presson (108th, 31:23.9) and Scott Morgan (155th, 31:50.2). The six and seven auxiliary slots for Carolina were Joe Sansone (219th, 32:33.7) and Matt Valeriani (243rd, 33:22.6).
“Isaac actually got knocked down in the first 2K and dropped about 100 spots,” added Coach VanAlstyne, “He battled his way back up for the team over 80 spots. All of our guys battled today. To have the team finish 17th in their first year back after so long is pretty special. I’m really proud of these guys.”
The Colorado men’s team and the Providence women’s team won the national titles. Oregon’s Edward Cheserek and Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino won the individual crowns.
No records were able to be broken at the championships due to course conditions forcing the official start line to be moved up 110 meters. 

Irish men placed 23rd while the women claimed 29th at NCAA Championships

In below-freezing temperatures, the Notre Dame men's and women's cross country teams lined up to compete in their fourth and third respective NCAA Championships this afternoon. The men finished 23rd of 31 while the women took 29th place of 31 teams.

The men were coming off a third-place finish at the Great Lakes NCAA Regionals where the women finished fourth. The men finished six places higher than their 28th-place finish in 2012 and had a total of 484 points. Men's head coach Joe Piane said the improvement from last year was one of the positives of the day.

Senior Martin Grady was the first man across the finish line for the Irish, completing the 10-kilometer race in 30:43.3 and securing a 35th-place finish. His performance also earns the senior All-America honors. Grady became the first Irish runner on either side to earn All-America accolades since Patrick Smyth in 2008.

Due to injuries, fifth-year student Jeremy Rae was unable to compete in last year's NCAA finals, but this year he came in 84th place with a time of 31:11.1. The Irish also had a strong showing from younger student-athletes, as sophomores Michael Clevenger (31:36.0) and Timothy Ball (32:18.2) finished in the top five for the Irish at 132nd and 201st, respectively. Graduate student J.P. Malette also finished in 145th place with a time of 31:45.8.

The women had a total of 688 points. Senior Kelly Curran finished the six-kilometer race with a time of 21:16.6, earning her a 94th place finish. Fellow senior and co-captain Alexa Aragon was less than 10 seconds behind her, finishing in 114th place with a time of 21:25.0. Sophomore Molly Seidel completed the race in 171st place (21:48.8), and a pair of juniors, Emily Frydrych (22:26.5) and Gabby Gonzales (22:47.5) rounded out the top five for the Irish with 231st and 241st place finishes.

NC State Men's Cross Country Finishes 28th at NCAA Championships

The NC State men's cross country team finished in 28th place at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. Wolfpack senior Andrew Colley, running in his last race for State, finished in seventh place, the highest finish ever for a NC State men's runner and good enough for the third All-American nomination of his illustrious career.

On a cold and windy day, which made the soggy course conditions even tougher, Colley ran a time of 30:12.5 finishing a little over 30 seconds off the pace of individual champion Edward Cheserek of Oregon, who clocked a time of 29:41.1.

Colley wraps up his NC State cross country career as a three-time All-American and a four-time All-ACC and All-Region performer, having captured the individual title at the ACC Championships on Nov. 1. In his five races this season, Colley finished first, second, third, fourth and seventh respectively.

Joanna Thompson, competing as an individual on the women's side, finished in 36th place with a time of 20:42.9, good enough for an All-American nod as well. The junior from Knoxville, Tenn. earned her first All-American honor to compliment her three-time All-ACC and All-Region awards.

As a team, State totaled 630 points to come in at 28th. Sam Parsons ran a time of 32:01.7 to finish 175th on the day, while Graham Crawford came in at 178th with a pace of 32:02.7. Right behind them were Michael Mansy (189th, 32:10.7) and Jacob Thomson (214th, 32:30.7), while Sam Roberson (236th, 33:05.8) and Bobby Mintz (248th, 33:32.3) round out the seven runners who competed for the Wolfpack at the NCAA Championships.


VT's Rapp finishes in 55th place at 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships; Curtin finishes in 69th place in men's 10K race

Terre Haute, Ind. - Junior Sarah Rapp raced her way to a 55th place finish in the women’s 6K race at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships while junior Thomas Curtin finished in 69th place in the men’s 10K race.

Rapp and Curtin were the only two qualifiers for Tech participating in the championship races.

Rapp was in 50th place at the 2000 meter mark before surging ahead to 47th place at the 4000 meter mark. Rapp fell eight spots ultimately finishing the race in 55th place against a field of 254 runners with a time of 20:56.10.

Rapp missed All-America honors by just 10 seconds as the 40th finisher crossed the finish line at 20:46.00. The top 40 finishers in each the men’s and women’s races earned the honor.

In the men’s race, Curtin was in 15th place at the 3000 meter mark, but fell back to 34th place at the 5000 meter mark. Curtin slipped to 62nd place at the 8000 meter mark before falling to his 69th place finish ending with a time of 31:02.40 against a field of 253 runners.

Curtin missed All-America status just 17 seconds as the 40th finisher crossed the line at 30:45.40. Only the top 40 finishers earned All-America honors.

This race concluded the 2013 cross country season for the Hokies.