By Herb Wills
Florida State University freshman Joep Tigchelaar ran 24:36.3 for 8 km, finishing sixth and leading the Seminole men’s cross-country team to a fifth-place finish at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in Clemson, South Carolina on Saturday, October 27. It was a day in which each of Tallahassee’s collegiate cross-country squads competed for their respective conference championships.
Tigchelaar’s performance earned him the title of outstanding ACC freshman performer, the first such Seminole to be honored. Other athletes running for the Florida State men were junior Kim Bergdahl (12th, 25:03.9), junior Dave Guerra (34th, 25:39.3), senior Tommy Kunish (42nd, 26:07.0), junior David Johnson (47th, 26:18.2), sophomore Danny Fritz (48th, 26:22.7), and freshman Andrew Bautel (49th, 26:31.7). The 2001 ACC men’s champion was Nathan Sisco, a junior running for Wake Forest, who clocked 24:23.5 — almost five seconds in front of his nearest challenger. Team honors went to North Carolina State University with 26 points. Florida State’s point total was 134; their fifth place ACC finish was the best in school history.
The Lady Seminoles placed seventh in the ACC women’s championship, paced by the fifth-place finish of junior Vicky Gill. Gill covered the 6 km course in 21:23. Also competing in garnet and gold at Clemson were freshman Natalie Hughes (27th, 22:37.3), junior Katie Jeffrey (37th, 23:03.2), senior Brooke Bastien (46th, 23:22.9), junior Andrea Dulmage (50th, 23:38.5), sophomore Emily Wehr (54th, 23:59.9), freshman Laura Melendez (61st, 24:46.8). Florida State junior Allison Lind did not finish. Misty Harper, the Lady Seminoles number three runner for much of the season, was sick and unable to compete. The 2001 ACC individual champion was University of North Carolina sophomore Shalane Flanagan (20:34.3), while North Carolina State University’s 39 points were good enough for the team title. As a team, Florida State tallied 156 points.
Meanwhile, in Greensboro, North Carolina, North Carolina A&T University was hosting the Mid East Athletic Conference Cross-Country Championships at Hagenstone Park. The Florida A&M University women outscored the defending champions Bethune-Cookman College 63 to 71, winning their fourth MEAC title in the last five years. The FAMU charge was led by the fourth-lace finish of Renata Strakova (18:53), followed by Dara Wise (8th, 19:51), Crystal McKinney (13th, 20:06), Helen Vilme (17th, 20:27), Analeta Peterson (21st, 20:49), Marisa Uzoaru (39th, 21:58), and Lyndia Mesidor (49th, 22:36). The MEAC individual title went to Agatha Gitundu of Norfolk State University who ran 17:43, well ahead of the nearest challenger, B-CC’s Marketa Patockova (18:32), who finished runner-up for the second straight year. On the strength of FAMU’s performance, Rattlerette coach Donya Andrews-Little was named the MEAC’s Most Outstanding Coach.
In the MEAC men’s competition, FAMU finished 6th in the eleven-team field. Top Ratter finisher in the 8 km men’s race was Dwayne Green (21st, 27:34). Also running for FAMU were Jean Balan (25th, 28:08), Masoui McBean (28th, 28:15), Anthony Pearson (31st, 28:30), Keith Franklin (32nd, 28:33), Eric Ramsey (44th, 30:18), and Manuel Lopez (59th, 31:44). Winning the men’s race by more than 100 yards was Coppin State College junior Nickie Peters (25:28), who is undefeated this season after seven races. The team title was captured by defending champions Norfolk State, scoring 24 points.
The next stop for each of these four local teams is the NCAA Regional Championships in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, November 10, where teams will be competing for a berth in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Greenville, South Carolina on November 19.
Complete ACC Cross-Country results are available at: http://www.fsu.edu/~track/xc/results/2001/ACC%20Results.htm
Complete MEAC Cross-Country results are available at: http://www.meacsports.com/article.asp?articleid=7641