Wildschutt takes third in FSU debut

The Florida State men’s cross country team finished in seventh place with 196 points at the FSU Winter XC Classic on a cool and cloudy Friday morning at Apalachee Regional Park.

Among the seven ranked teams competing in the field, the Seminoles finished ahead of No. 30 Syracuse (202) and No. 22 Southern Utah (212). No. 12 Stanford finished first in the men’s 8K Garnet race with a score of 67 points while No. 6 Iowa State (98) and No. 13 Colorado (98) tied for second. No. 27 Utah State (160), No. 19 Wake Forest (184) and Duke (190) followed in fourth, fifth and sixth. 

In his FSU debut, junior Adriaan Wildschutt placed third overall behind a personal best 8k time of 23:16.7, which beat his old time by nearly eight seconds. The South African’s performance was the third fastest in Apalachee Regional Park history. 

Wildschutt established himself in second place early and held that position for most of the race, but Eduardo Herrera from Colorado took over at the 6k split with a 1.2-second advantage.  Wildschutt kept steady in third through the finish, crossing the line almost nine seconds ahead of the fourth-place competitor.

“That’s our fastest 8k, ever,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “And the course was running slow today. But I thought the meet went well today. It was great to host a lot of those blue bloods of cross country here. It was really gratifying for us and it gave us a little bit of a measuring stick (to see) where we are.”

Iowa State’s junior Wesley Kiptoo was the winner with a time of 22:48.8, which was a new APR course record and Herrera’s 23:03.4 was the second-best performance.

Redshirt junior Caleb Pottorff (24:24.1) and senior Ahmed Muhumed (24:26.1) along with sophomore Sam Field (24:29.7) and redshirt freshman Gabriel Curtis (24:30.6) all turned in solid performances, running most of the race together.

Pottorff, who finished in 46th, held a steady lead in the top 50 throughout the entirety of this race, while Muhumed worked his way from 60th at the 6k split to place 49th.

Members of the No. 18 Florida State women’s team ran unattached in the gold 6k race.

“It was a great opportunity for our younger and less experienced runners to be able to run in a meet with such great competition,” FSU coach Kelly Phillips said. “They all handled it really well and I was very impressed with how they raced.”

The individual runners for the Noles were led by freshman Caitlin Wilkey, who finished ninth overall with a time of 21:52.0. It was her highest place in any race this season, beating her 10th place finish at the Mountain Dew Invite on Sept. 18.

Sophomore Riley Bahr (22:04.0) and freshman Kate Tugman (22:30.0) both finished inside the top 25, while sophomore Abby Schrobilgen (22:57.3) finished just outside that mark at 28th.

The Seminoles will host another meet at Apalachee Regional Park on Mar. 5 before competing in the NCAA Championships on Mar. 15 in Stillwater, Okla.