Editor’s note: Kim Winn is a GWTC member who is running for FSU’s cross country team. New coach Bob Braman is trying to build a winning program to FSU and brings a great resume of coaching experience. Kim and Assistant Coach Paul Spangler have been doing a good job keeping the GWIND list up to date on FSU happenings. The team has had some great success this year and has stumbled at times, but clearly is headed in the right direction. This past weekend the men and women’s teams competed at the ACC Cross Country Championships, improving 90 points from last year’s finish. Here is Kim’s account of that competition. Thanks to Kim for letting us use it!
I just got back from my first ACC championships and it was an experience to say the least. Coach Braman was not exaggerating about it being a tough course. The nickname for the hill we had to run up in the first mile and a half and in the last mile, known as Big Nasty, was appropriate. After a few cuts and bruises from getting spiked, pushed and elbowed from the start to the shoot, I was glad the 3.25 mile race was over so I could celebrate with my teammates. We compared our individual race experiences and planed what junk food we would pig out on the rest of the afternoon. Most of us opted for Halloween candy for post race recovery. There is nothing like junk and Hershey bars after a hard event. Chocolate is a woman’s best friend.
We where happy to place sixth on the women’s side which was the best the FSU women have ever done at this meet. Amy Pleckaitis placed ninth overall to become the first All-ACC Lady ‘Nole and top ten finisher at the ACC championships. The men placed seventh, somewhat of a disappointment to them and our coaches. A lot of flukish things happened though. Brian Flieshmann one of our top five runners got sick in the middle of the race and dropped out. Our number one runner, Nick Stuart, had problems with his feet during the race leading to some huge blood blisters and he was unable to score for us. Eric Ritchson had a shoe come off mid race and, instead of going back for the shoe, he proceeded to run all five miles (including a muddy cow pasture and gravel and rocky parts) of the course with one barefoot. Needless to say this did not bring him success and resulted in a very red, ugly, swollen foot.
Coach was pretty mad with them and a little bit with me and some of our girls team members as well, but not with out reason. We may have gone to the meet and run well compared to our past efforts, but the way we ran was not a good reflection of the team that we are or could be at the present time. From my point of view, I really need to contribute more. Brooke Bastien and Amy Pleckaitis cannot carry us every race all by themselves, and it is unfair for me to expect them to (not saying that I do of course). This college running stuff is tough. Not only do you have to deal with your own disappointment but also the disappointment of letting your team and coach down sometimes. It is much easier to run road races on your own and train for yourself, I think. At the same time this college running stuff totally has advantages. I am meeting people and going places I never would on my own. I am learning a heck of a lot about training and life in general from my teammates and coaches on a daily basis. Going to big meets like this is a reward for all the hard work and the lessons and experiences I learn from such meets are ones I will not forget.