Saturday, October 9, 2010

Records fall on day one of the FSU XC Invitational

At 5:00pm on Friday at the Apalachee Regional Park Trail, Bob Braman's leaf blower ran out of gas.

"I got the loose dirt off of half of the course," declared Braman, Florida State's cross-country coach. "They'll just have to deal with the rest of it. It's not too bad."

Actually it wasn't bad at all. In fact, the footing was nearly perfect. But it's that kind of obsession with the course that has made the Apalachee Regional Park Trail one of the best cross-country venues for runners. Even though it was true that the recent dry weather had produced some loose dirt on parts of the course, the rest of the trail was firm and fast for day one of the 2010 Florida State University Cross-Country Invitational on October 8.

Racing started with the university women's 5,000m at 6:20pm. Lauren Smith of Stephen F. Austin took the lead almost as soon as the starting gun was fired. Smith was still leading at three kilometers, but Shelby Kittrell of North Florida had moved up onto her shoulder. The rest of the field was still twenty meters back or more. Kittrell broke away, going on to win in 17:34.65 a new course record for university women. Smith hung on for second in 17:46.26, just ahead of a late charge from Florida's Amanda Perkins (3rd, 17:47.66). Led by Smith's second-place finish, Stephen F. Austin came out on top in the team standings with 45 points, well ahead of the 82 scored by the runners-up, the hosting Florida State.

The university men's 8,000m started at 6:45pm. At least a dozen runners were in the lead pack at three kilometers. By the sixth kilometer, though, only three were still up front--Alex Schanen of Florida, Seth Proctor, and Michael Anderson of Florida. Over the final two kilometers, Anderson fell away, while Ben Martucci of Florida Southern fought his way back into contact. Schanen grabbed the win in 24:45.27, breaking the old university men's course record of 24:50.85. Martucci finished runner up in 24:48.83, and Seth Proctor took third in 24:51.03. Mitch Ownby of Stephen F. Austin, the defending champion and former course record holder, was 18th in 25:37.54. Florida State, led by Justin Harbor's fourth-place performance of 25:01.02, scored 41 points for the win. Their rivals from Florida placed second with 55 points.

With two records in two races, you could argue that the Apalachee Regional Park Trail was in condition for fast running at the Invitational, whatever Coach Braman's misgivings. There were few complaints and several compliments. And conditions promised to be just as good for day two of competition, the high school races on Saturday morning.

Team Standings, University Women's 5K
  1. Stephen F. Austin, 45
  2. Florida State, 82
  3. North Florida, 88
  4. South Florida, 90
  5. Florida, 106
  6. Tampa, 125
  7. Florida Track Club, 167
  8. Troy University, 208
  9. Florida Southern, 266
  10. Fort Valley State, 303
  11. Edward Waters College, 345

Top Ten Women
  1. Shelby Kittrell (North Florida) 17:34.65
  2. Lauren Smith (Stephen F. Austin) 17:46.26
  3. Amanda Perkins (Florida) 17:47.66
  4. Megan Jenkins (Stephen F. Austin) 17:49.54
  5. Nicole Rozario (South Florida) 17:53.22
  6. Yasmin Smith (South Florida) 17:54.26
  7. Heather Nicolosi (Tampa) 17:55.26
  8. Andrea Palen (Florida State) 17:59.97
  9. Emily Ness (Florida State) 18:05.14
  10. Stephanie Strasser (Florida) 18:05.64

Team Standings, University Men's 8K
  1. Florida State, 41
  2. Florida, 55
  3. Stephen F. Austin, 69
  4. Florida Southern, 117
  5. North Florida, 145
  6. Tampa, 170
  7. South Florida, 171
  8. Troy University, 183
  9. Florida Track Club, 230
  10. Fort Valley State, 330
  11. Edward Waters College, 335

Top Ten Men
  1. Alex Schanen (Florida) 24:45.27
  2. Ben Martucci (Florida Southern) 24:48.83
  3. Seth Proctor (unattached) 24:51.03
  4. Justin Harbor (Florida State) 25:01.02
  5. Enock Kirui (Troy) 25:03.70
  6. Kevin Cook (unattached) 25:04.50
  7. Xavier Rodriguez (Stephen F. Austin) 25:04.96
  8. Michael Anderson (Florida) 25:05.07
  9. Dennis Yeats (Stephen F. Austin) 25:08.29
  10. Nicholas Maedel (Florida State) 25:12.85


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