Friday, October 6, 2017

A Seminole sweep of the Florida State Cross-Country Invitational

The Florida State University cross-country teams played the part of rude hosts at the collegiate session of the Florida State Cross-Country Invitational on Friday morning, 6 October 2017. On their home course at Tallahassee, Florida's Apalachee Regional Park, the hosting Seminoles swept both team titles, men's and the women's. Florida A & M University Rattler standout David Too was the top athlete in the men's 8K, running a winning 24:15.6. Florida State's Militsa Mircheva won the women's 5K in 17:45.2.

2017 Florida State Cross-Country Invitational
University women's 5K, 2017 FSU Cross-Country Invitational

Competition opened at the 46th annual FSU Invitational got started at 7:40 AM with the men's 8K. For the first two kilometers a group of Florida A & M Rattler athletes set the pace for the field. UNC Pembroke frosh Silus Kipkoech tagged along with the Rattlers. Runners dropped out of the lead pack as the race progressed until, with two kilometers to go, only three remained--Kipkoech and Florida A & M's David Too and Festus Kemboi. Too pressed the pace, dropping Kemboi while Kipkoech struggled to maintain contact. But by the third and final trip up ARPXC's infamous hill, the Wall, Too had the race in the bag. Too only lengthened his lead during the final half kilometer after the Wall, going on to win in 24:15.6. Kipkoech was second in 24:25.6. During the final trip up the Wall Michael Hall of Florida State moved up into third, where he finished in 24:32.1. Florida State also took the next two places, with David Barney fourth in 24:46.7 and Michael Callegari fifth in 24:47.2. Tallahassee's 2017 Springtime 10K champion, Chris Haynes, was sixth in 24:49.2, competing unattached.

North Carolina Pembroke Men's Cross-Country Team
North Carolina-Pembroke Braves

Florida State's Bryce Kelley and Istvan Szogi were seventh in 24:49.7 and eighth in 24:55.9, giving the Seminoles a mathematically unbeatable 20 points and first place in the six-team university division. Florida A & M was second with Florida third with identical scores of 62 points. North Carolina-Pembroke and Tampa each scored 65 points in the college division; UNC-Pembroke took the team title on the tie-breaker.


Top Ten, 2017 FSU Invitational Men's 8K
  1. 24:15.6, David Too (Florida A&M)
  2. 24:25.6, Silus Kipkoech (North Carolina-Pembroke)
  3. 24:32.1, Michael Hall (Florida State)
  4. 24:46.7, David Barney (Florida State)
  5. 24:47.2, Michael Callegari (Florida State)
  6. 24:49.3, Chris Haynes (Unattached)
  7. 24:49.7, Bryce Kelley (Florida State)
  8. 24:55.8, Istvan Szogi (Florida State)
  9. 24:56.5, Griff Graves (Unattached)
  10. 25:03.3, Festus Kemboi (Florida A&M)

2017 FSU Invitational University Men's Team Standings
  1. Florida State, 20
  2. Florida A&M, 62
  3. Florida, 62
  4. South Florida, 106
  5. Jacksonville State, 151
  6. Jacksonville, 157

2017 FSU Invitational College Men's Team Standings
  1. North Carolina-Pembroke, 65
  2. Tampa, 65
  3. Florida Southern, 70
  4. Columbus State, 100
  5. Florida Tech, 128
  6. West Florida, 132
  7. Auburn Montgomery, 147
  8. Florida College, 240
  9. Loyola-New Orleans
  10. Tallahassee CC, 298

Militsa Mircheva, Jessica Pascoe, and Jodie Judd were the lead group in the women's 5K when they raced by the 3K mark. Then Mircheva went to work. The Florida State junior, an Olympic marathon runner for Bulgaria, broke away then ran home in a winning 17:45.2. Florida State's Judd was second in 17:52.4. Jacksonville's Jana Reinert overtook Pascoe to take third in 17:58.0. Florida's Pascoe was fourth in 18:01.6.

University of Tampa Lady Spartans
University of Tampa Spartans

Florida State claimed the next two places, with Althea Hewitt fifth in 18:04.4 and Addison Coggins sixth in 18:05.1. When Forever Young placed tenth for Florida State in 18:24.5, the Lady Seminoles had a mathematically unbeatable 24 points and the women's team title in the university division of the Invitational. Jacksonville was second with 50 points, and Florida third in the six-team field with 71 points. The Tampa women dominated the fifteen-team field in the college division, taking first with 34 points. Marking the continuing revival of junior college cross-country in Florida, there were four NJCAA schools in the college women's team standings--Pasco-Hernando State (9th), Tallahassee Community College (12th), Florida State College-Jacksonville (13th), and Chipola College (397).


By 9:30 AM the races were over, the awards had been handed out, and coaches athletes and spectators were headed home. It was still early in the day, and at Florida State classes were still in session.


"I've got a test today," said one Lady Seminole as she hurried away from the course.


She and the rest of the Seminoles had already earned high marks in their athletic test that morning.


The college/university races were only the opening act of the 2017 Florida State Cross-Country Invitational. Competition continued on Friday afternoon with middle school and junior varsity high school races, and again on Saturday morning with eight more high school races.


Top Ten, 2017 FSU Invitational Women's 8K
  1. 17:45.2, Militsa Mircheva (Florida State)
  2. 17:52.4, Jodie Judd (Florida State)
  3. 17:58.0, Jana Reinert (Jacksonville)
  4. 18:01.6, Jessica Pascoe (Florida)
  5. 18:04.4, Althea Hewitt (Florida State)
  6. 18:05.1, Addison Coggins (Florida State)
  7. 18:05.6, Lauren Perry (Florida)
  8. 18:11.2, Caitlin Marino (Jacksonville)
  9. 18:23.3, Michelle Howell (Jacksonville)
  10. 18:24.5, Forever Young (Florida State)

2017 FSU Invitational University Women's Team Standings
  1. Florida State, 24
  2. Jacksonville, 50
  3. Florida, 71
  4. Florida A&M, 94
  5. South Florida, 127
  6. Jacksonville State, 167

2017 FSU Invitational College Women's Team Standings
  1. Tampa, 34
  2. Florida Southern, 78
  3. Florida Tech, 89
  4. West Florida, 112
  5. North Carolina-Pembroke, 143
  6. Columbus State, 156
  7. Auburn Montgomery, 199
  8. Loyola-New Orleans, 249
  9. Pasco-Hernando State Coll, 257
  10. Webber International, 300
  11. Georgia Southwestern, 300
  12. Tallahassee CC, 351
  13. Florida State College-Jacksonville, 365
  14. Florida College, 391
  15. Chipola College, 397

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