Virginia Men, FSU Women Repeat as ACC Cross Country Champions
Nov. 1, 2008
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Led by a pair of individual champions, the Virginia men and Florida State women successfully defended their team titles at Saturday's 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country Championships.
Ryan Foster posted a first-place time of 24:27.7 on the 8K Ranson-Hamrick Course. Three other Cavaliers posted top-10 finishes as Virginia claimed its third ACC men's title in four years and its fourth overall.
Susan Kuijken, whose time of 20:11 in the women's 6K race edged Virginia Tech's Tas Fanning by six-10ths of a second, captured her second straight ACC title and keyed a dominating performance that saw FSU place four runners among the top seven and five among the top nine.
Virginia's men tallied 40 team points to place ahead of second-place NC State (56), Virginia Tech (75) and Florida State (80). Duke placed fifth with 127 points, while Boston College and Maryland tied for sixth (199). Host team North Carolina was eighth (209) followed by Clemson (212), Georgia Tech (239), Wake Forest (342) and Miami (372).
Foster, a senior team captain from Stephens City, Va., who placed third in last year's event, delivered a strong kick at the finish to place ahead of Boston College's Tim Ritchie (24:30) and Virginia Tech's Devin Cornwall (24:30.8). N.C. State's tandem of Bobby Mack (24:30.9) and John Martinez (24:33.8) rounded out the top five.
"Hats off to N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Florida State ... a lot of teams showed up to compete," Virginia coach Jason Vigilante said. "We knew that if we wanted to be ACC champions again that we would have to earn it. There could be no laying off today."
Florida State women's coach Karen Harvey saw her squad's 27-point performance outdistance second-place Boston College (106) and third-place Wake Forest (112). Duke and Virginia tied for fourth (124), followed by North Carolina (137), Virginia Tech (150), Clemson (170), Maryland (236), NC State (262), Georgia Tech (289) and Miami (392).
The Seminoles' Kuijken found herself among familiar company as the women's race entered the home stretch. The junior from the Netherlands ran just slightly behind Fanning and North Carolina's Brie Felnagle - both of whom joined her among the top four finishers in 2007.
Kuijken's strong finish was good enough to narrowly edge Fanning, while Felnagle posted a third-place time of 20:23. FSU's Lesley Van Miert (20:32) and North Carolina's Lauren Holesh (20:36) completed the top five.
"It was a totally different race from last year," Kuijken said. "Last year I made my move really early in the race, and this year it came down to the last 50 meters. Kinda scary, but also very exciting."
NC State's Ryan Hill earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors in the men's meet by leading all first-year runners with a 13th-place time of 24:47.2. Wake Forest's Anna Nosenko took the women's award with a 16th-place time of 21:22.8.