The Florida State cross country teams will return to action on their home course Friday morning by hosting the FSU Winter Cross Country Classic at Apalachee Regional Park.
This will be the first meet for the Seminoles since Oct. 30 at the ACC Championships in Cary, N.C., where the No. 18 women placed third and the men finished in ninth.
“We’re a completely different team,” FSU men’s coach Bob Braman on what to expect for this race. “We need to run and try to put some good data out there in Friday’s race in order to try and qualify for the NCAA Championships in March.”
The event will feature four races that are split into two fields for each gender based on USTFCCCA rankings and roster information. The Garnet races will serve as the top flights and will feature 10 nationally ranked teams and three that received votes.
Florida State will compete in the Garnet men’s 8k race starting at 9 a.m., while members of the women’s team will run unattached on Friday in the Gold 6k race at 10:30 a.m.
All races will be closed to the general public, but live timing will be available.
“We’re kind of shifting like chess pieces trying to get people prepared,” FSU women’s head coach Kelly Phillips said about moving runners around between cross country and track teams. “On the women’s side, it is a very loaded meet this weekend.”
The Noles will look to juniors Paul Stafford and Caleb Pottorff to lead in a tough field of 22 teams that include seven ranked squads. FSU will also see two new additions, junior Adriaan Wildschutt and senior Ahmed Muhumed race in the Garnet and Gold for the first time.
Stafford, who was recognized twice as the ACC Performer of the Week during the fall season, placed first at the Mountain Dew Invite and finished in the top five in all three regular season meets. Pottorff, a two-time All-South region runner, will also be a strong contributor for the men’s team on Friday.
“(COVID-19) hasn’t been the biggest distraction just because running is one of the few times we all get together as a group of guys and it’s something that we look forward to every single day,” said Pottorff about running during this season. “It’s been reassuring and comforting that there is all this stuff going on.”
While the women were recognized in the USTFCCCA national poll this week, both teams earned south regional rankings. The ladies are ranked third, while the men are fifth.
Men’s 8K Garnet Race – 9 a.m.
No. 6 Iowa State
No. 12 Stanford
No. 13 Colorado
No. 19 Wake Forest
No. 22 Southern Utah
No. 27 Utah State
No. 30 Syracuse
South Dakota State
Women’s 6K Garnet Race – 9:30 a.m.
Men’s 8K Gold Race – 10 a.m.
Women’s 6K Gold Race – 10:30 a.m.
No. 4 Stanford
No. 18 Florida State
No. 20 Iowa State
No. 29 Boston College
RV Oklahoma State
RV West Virginia