The No. 20/15 Florida State cross country teams each posted top ten showings at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nationals meet Friday morning at Apalachee Regional Park.
In a field that featured 31 teams that were either ranked or receiving votes in the USTFCCCA poll, the Seminoles posted an eighth-place finish (281) in the men’s garnet 8k race while the women finished third (163) in the women’s garnet 6k race.
“I was super pleased,” said coach Bob Braman. “On the men’s side, this was the best race we’ve ran in years. That race will probably put us in the top 15, so we are on pace to do what we want to do. The ladies did a great job finishing third with two top 10 teams in front of them.”
In what would be the fastest race in Apalachee Regional Park history with fast course conditions, the Seminoles saw seven career-best times in the men’s 8K race.
Similar to the 2020 NCAA XC Championships, Adriaan Wildschutt battled with some of the top runners in the country, including the champion from BYU, Connor Mantz.
Wildschutt stayed in the front pack early on and was the leader following the halfway point of the race. Wildschutt and Mantz began to pull away from the rest of the pack in the back half of the race, but Mantz pulled away from Wildschutt on the last straightaway to shatter the course record with a time of 22:47.0 and take gold.
The Ceres, South Africa, native finished second with a personal-best time of 22:49.5, which is the third-best time in Apalachee Regional Park history.
“I think this is a great test for where I want to be,” Wildschutt said. “Running this fast on this course will definitely help me at nationals. This was the first time I was that close until the very end, and it will be great preparation for what’s to come here.”
Ahmed Muhumed also had a career day as he shattered his personal-best time by 37 seconds with a time of 23:13.1 to finish 11th.
Gabriel Curtis placed 55th (23:53.6) while junior Silas Griffith (24:11.3) finished 89th. Jacob Holmes (24:23.3) Sam Field (24:33.6), Zach Cloud (24:36.0) and Zach Leachman (24:55.0) rounded out the field for the Noles.
No. 15 FSU finished third in the women’s team standings with 163 points behind No. 5 Colorado (54) and No. 10 Utah (149) and ahead of No. 14 Ole Miss (165), No. 12 North Carolina (184) and No. 11 Arkansas (243).
In the women’s 6k, the Seminoles established a pack of runners in the top 25 early with Lauren Ryan, Amanda Beach, Maudie Skyring and Agnes McTighe.
The group held steady through the 3k, where Ryan started to pull away with the front pack.
Ryan finished the race third with a personal best time of 19:51.1, which was the ninth fastest time in APR history. Ryan was just behind Colorado’s Abby Nichols (19:46.4) and Arkansas’ Lauren Gregory (19:47.7).
“We beat some really tough teams out there,” Ryan said. “Everyone put together a great race. I was excited that I ran my personal best which I haven’t done since 2017. I’m really excited to see what our team can do at nationals.”
Rebecca Clark joined McTighe and Skyring in the middle of the pack as the three ran closely together for the back half of the race.
McTighe finished 33rd with a time of 20:28.4 while Skyring (20:32.5) and Clark (20:33.4) followed in 37th and 38th.
Beach (20:43.6), Erin Phelps (20:51.4), Jennifer Lima (20:57.4) and Alyson Churchill (21:09.3) rounded out the Seminole scoring.
In the women’s open 6k race, the Noles once again finished third behind Tennessee and Texas. Caitlin Wilkey (21:30.6) led the squad with a 17th-place finish. Freshmen Rebecca Bergnes (21:44.0) and Riley Bahr (3:41.7) each finished in the top 50 for the Seminoles.
Both teams will be in action on Oct. 29 at the ACC Championships in Notre Dame, Ind., before the NCAA Regionals on Nov. 12 and the NCAA Championships on Nov. 20.