Hokie Men, Seminole Women Earn 2012 Cross Country Titles

Oct. 27, 2012

BLACKSBURG, Va. (theACC.com) - Florida State earned its fifth straight women's title, while Virginia Tech claimed the men's crown for the for the first time at Saturday's ACC Cross Country Championships, held at the Virginia Tech Cross Country Course at Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg.

The Seminoles’ placed five runners in the top 14 to total 35 points on Saturday. Individual champion Violah Lagat produced a 6,000-meter time of 20:00.1, followed Collen Quigley (20:17.6), Kayleigh Tyerman (20:20.1) and Georgia Peel (20:52.5).

Duke finished second with 27 points followed Boston College (82), NC State (86) and North Carolina (152).     

"It was a little crazy out there today,” Florida State women’s head coach Karen Harvey said. “We came here to defend our title and we did. We are still trying to figure a couple of things out before nationals, but we had some bright spots today.

“Viola (Lagat) and I had a talk last night about our two-year drought in individual champions at this event. She really wanted to win this race. I'm pleased for her."

Lagat’s individual championship was the first for Florida State since Susan Kuijken won the last of her three straight championships in 2009.

"I felt really confident coming into this race,” Lagat said. “I had some good workouts the last two weeks. I'm happy with my time (20:00.1). We hadn't had the ACC individual champion since 2009, so I really wanted to win my last race in the ACC."

Will Mulherin led Virginia Tech to its first ever team title by winning the individual championship. Tech finished with three runners in the top seven with Mulherin coming in with an 8,000-meter time of 23:37.3 followed by Brayden Burleigh (23.54.7) and Thomas Curtin (23:56.3).

Following the Hokies was Virginia with 61 points, Florida State (62), NC State (74) and Duke (112).   

“This is just a most improbable victory for us,” Virginia Tech head coach Ben Thomas said. “On paper there are certainly more talented teams, but today we just found a way. All of the guys fought hard today, this is like a dream being the first Virginia Tech team to win an ACC cross country title.

“We had to have a lot fall into place today. We thought we needed four guys to make All-ACC and we ended up with three, it was just a great team effort. I'm so proud of Will Mulherin, he ran a great race.”

Mulherin became the first individual men's ACC Cross Country Champion from Virginia Tech. Both Mulherin and Lagat’s finished with course records.  

“This is just amazing. I wanted to do this for the past three years. Today I wanted to go out with the leaders early and then run the last K as hard as I could. Last year I started too slow and finished seventh. I was determined not to do that again.”

Connor Rog of Virginia was named ACC Freshman of the Year for the men after he crossed the finish line in 24:19.5 in 18th place. The women’s ACC Freshman of the year was Samantha George of NC State who earned All-ACC honors after finishing in the 13th with a time of 20:46.8.