FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University cross country coach Mark Bluman has announced the signing of four Palmetto State runners for the 2012 season: Guy McCarter of Ladson and Conner McGraw of Goose Creek for the men’s team and Kateland Todd of Pawleys Island and Hannah Muzzillo of Florence on the women’s side.
McCarter, 5-10, is a product of Stratford High School, where he ran for coaches Shane Sutherland and Dave Renneisen.
He placed 21st in a time of 16:33 at the 2011 AAAA state championship cross country meet as the Knights finished second in the team standings. He finished seventh in the 3,200-meters (time of 9:55.60) and fifth in the 4x800-meter relay at the 2012 AAAA state championship track and field meet.
He owns personal-best times of 2:06 for 800-meters, 4:35 for 1,600-meters, and 9:48 for 3,200-meters. He also helped Stratford’s 4x1,600-meter relay team post a time of 18:17, the second fastest in state history.
“Guy is coming in to the program at the right time,” said Bluman. “He had a strong senior year both in cross country and track, and he’s got a lot of momentum going and will look to keep it pushing forward for us this fall.”
McGraw, 5-8, is also a graduate of Stratford. He placed 32nd with a season-best time of 16:52 at the 2011 state cross country meet. On the track, he possesses personal-best times of 2:19 in the 800-meters, 4:59 in the 1,600-meters, and 4:48 in the mile.
“Conner is one of those athletes that often gets overshadowed. He was the fifth man for the AAAA state runner-up this year in cross country. You don’t often get too much attention as the fifth man, but you cannot have a successful team without a strong runner there. I’m pretty sure he won’t be overshadowed this fall.”
Todd, 4-11, is a graduate of Georgetown High School, where she ran for coaches Holly Fesperman and Jill Crothers. She spent this past year attending Horry-Georgetown Technical College.
A four-time All-Region runner at GHS, she finished 86th (time of 22:10) at the 2010 AAA state championship cross country meet and 92nd (22:35) at the 2009 state meet.
“Kateland is pretty fast at everything, even finishing high school in three years. She was one of the top 2011 recruits, and we are glad that we are getting her now. The year away from team competition has only sharpened her more. She’s focused and ready to make an impact here at FMU.”
Muzzillo, 5-5, is a product of West Florence High School, where she ran under the direction of coach Jim Fritchman.
She posted a personal-best 5,000-meter time of 23:22 at the 2009 Pee Dee Classic. She also owns personal-best times of 6:03 for 1,600-meters and 13:36 for 3,200-meters while running for the Knights.
She was captain of the 2012 WFHS track and field squad, and recently won her age group in the 2012 Race For Taylor 5K event with a time of 25:39.
“Hannah is a local recruit and we are glad that she’s staying close to home and joining our program. Her dad often cleans up awards at the local road races. It’s always great to coach second generation runners, as they have seen their parents compete, so it is in their blood and they know firsthand what it takes to succeed as a distance runner.”
Francis Marion lost only one senior from each of its men’s and women’s squads that placed 23rd and 24th respectively at the 2011 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Meet.