2006 South Region Results: QuotesNovember 11, 2006

Individual womens champion, Susan Kuijken, Florida State: Its a good feeling. As a freshman, I dont really know any of these girls, so it was kind of a surprise. Ive never run regionals before, so I had no idea where I might finish or where I could end up.

Ive run well before and with some good teams in the ACC, but I didnt know what to expect today. I finished sixth at the ACC meet, so I never would have thought that I could win a regional race, especially for my first win in America. I always thought that regionals would be harder than conference, but I ran a good race today.

[On taking the overall lead] I took the lead on the steep hill the second time (during the third mile), and I could see and hear that (previous leader Sarah Bowman of Tennessee) was getting tired. Right as I was about to pass her, I was worried that maybe it was too soon. There was still a lot of race left, but there wasnt anything I could do about it but run my race.

Coach Dave Hartman, Georgia (womens team champions): I was really pleased with the way that we ran today. Our team came here with the objective of qualifying for nationals, just finishing in the top two, and we cant complain because we accomplished that goal. Now we have to get ready for the national championship next Monday.

I dont know if we expected to come out and win. But everybody stepped up really well and our top group was able to stay up with the pack in the front. It was a great win, and this is a great region. It was a tough race.

Katie Van Horn, Tennessee: This season Ive usually been running third or fourth for our team, but I ran well today. I just got really up for this race. I saw Florida and Florida State (runners) and I just kept trying to pick them off. I knew those were teams to beat, along with Georgia, and every person counts. I just kept getting up for them.

Its really nice to have this at home and have people supporting you everywhere you turn. Its very motivating to have somebody cheering for you every step of the way.

Coach J.J. Clark, Tennessee: I thought we could win. I felt that we had a chance when we got out there. But Georgia ran very well, and I thought we were capable of doing that.

Sarah Bowman did not have the race that we expected, and Felicia Guliford did not have the season that we expected. Its hard to beat people when you dont the caliber of athletes putting you in a position to win. We did have some bright spots with Katie Van Horn and Jackie Areson, whos a freshman, getting eighth and 10th. Thats very exciting.

[On the possibility of an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship] Were not used to waiting for anything. I dont know how it works, to be honest. We performed OK at the pre-meet and beat six ranked teams. I dont know how that will work. The top-two here go, and we were third so I dont know whats going to happen. I want to say that well have a good chance of going.

Coach Bob Braman, Florida State (mens team champions): This course is hard. We ran here in 2002 and had to run really, really hard.

We felt like, this is a qualifying meet the qualifying meet for the national championship. Its hard enough to get there, but youve got to save something. The guys situation is unique because you run 10,000 meters for the first time all year, an extra mile-and-a-quarter, and youre doing that here and then you have to come back nine days later and do it again.

This is a very difficult course, so youve really got to be careful. Our strategy was just to finish in the top four. Our top guy, Andrew Lemoncello, who is a four-time All-America, I held him back. I told the guys to run as a four-pack and pace themselves, because this course will eat you up. But it worked out at the end of the race that people were really hurting, and we were able to move up.

Individual mens champion, Barnabas Kirui, Mississippi: It was tough, this is a difficult course and this was a tough race. There were a lot of very tough runners, I was up there with South Alabama and Alabama guys that didnt make it easy.

The course was a real tough one. For the first time I was running up and down, running real hard, so I was very happy with the result. Id run another 10K like this, but it was relatively flat. Im not used to some of these ups and downs and loops, so I think it will help me get ready for nationals. It was a tough race and a fast race, so after being in contention with very tough guys, I think mentally and psychologically Ill be ready.

-Courtesy Eric Trainer