Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NCAA XC Top 31 Countdown: Women's #5- Florida State

Editor's note: For the next month, The Wood Report will be counting down projected team finishes in this year's NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, IN.

Florida State
Head Coach: Karen Harvey (7th Season)
2012 National Finish- 4th

Key Returners from 2012
  • Colleen Quigley (Jr., 4:15 1500m, 9:13 Open 3k, 15:58 5k, 9:38 3k Steeple)
  • Linden Hall (Jr., 2:09 800m, 4:15 1500m, 9:39 3k)
  • Georgia Peel (So., 2:08 800m, 4:14 1500m, 9:41 Open 3k, 16:26 5k)

Impact Recruits/Transfers
  • Hannah Walker (Jr., From U.K.- 9:21 Open 3k, 15:48 5k, 33:09 10k)
  • Pippa Woolven (Jr., From U.K.-9:53 Open 3k, 10:11 3k Steeple)
  • Anna Holdiman (Fr., 9:48 Open 3k, 4:35 1500m, 7th FL Finals '12)
  • Bridget Blake (Fr., 4:54 1600m, 10:40 3200m, 15th FL Finals '12

Season Preview

(written by Sam Wood, my genius brother, to maintain objectivity)

Florida State's women's cross country team is most definitely one of the elite programs in the country.  Year in and year out Karen Harvey's squads are consistently good during the season and have tons of talent.  Last year's team placed three athletes in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships, but didn't have the consistency from their other four runners in order to help them win a championships, and the team faded to fourth.
Looking on paper, this team has some definite chops on the track.  Colleen Quigley is a top-notch steeplechaser (2nd NCAA Steeple behind Emma Coburn) and returns from a 12th place finish at the NCAA XC Meet last year.  She will be a top-notch front runner for the Seminoles with a group of middle distance returnees as well as elite newcomers following her lead.  

Linden Hall and Georgia Peel have had some great success at the 800 and 1500 distances, but will look to have that carry over in Terre Haute.  If they can make the conversion from 1500 to 6k, this team could be looking at more than just a podium position this November.
There aren't many teams out there who have a newcomer quite like Hannah Walker.  Her times on the track over in the U.K. would have given her a chance at being an All-American on the track last year.  If her ability can translate quickly from across the pond, FSU could have an outstanding 1-2 punch with her and Quigley.  

Pippa Woolven, Anna Holdiman and Bridget Blake will be contending for scoring position as well for the Seminoles.  Woolven is also a great steepler and Holdiman and Blake come off of top 15 finishes at the Foot Locker National Meet.
If history is any indicator, the Seminoles will be ready to roll by the time Notre Dame and Pre-Nationals come around.  There may be no more intriguing team to watch this fall on the women's side than the Lady Seminoles.

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