Feb. 24, 2012
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
BOSTON, Mass. - Three victories, including a meet record in the women's distance medley relay, highlighted the performances by the Florida State men's and women's teams Friday at the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships.
The highlight of the day for the `Noles came in the final running event when the quartet of Hannah Brooks, Jande Pierce, Aubree Worden and Amanda Winslow ran away from the field in the distance medley in an ACC Championship meet record of 11:08.17. Brooks pulled away in the opening 1200-meter leg in 3:24.43, while Pierce - one of two freshmen on the team - followed with a 400 in 56.35. Worden maintained FSU's massive cushion, setting up Winslow's record-finishing assault in the mile anchor leg.
Winslow brought the baton around in 4:34.31 as the Seminoles wiped the 2008 FSU record holders from the books. That '08 Seminole quintet included Hannah England, Kandi Batchelor, Lydia Willemse and Susan Kuijken.
"When you talk about a conference like the ACC, where distance running is king, that's impressive," FSU head coach Bob Braman said. "That was probably the highlight of the women's day."
Paul Madzivire and Amy Harris delivered the Seminoles' other victories, capturing the men's and women's long jump, respectively. Madzivire, just a month removed from an emergency surgical procedure, won with a jump of 7.67m (25-2) as FSU posted a 1-2-6 finish. A sophomore from Zimbabwe, Madzivire gave the `Noles their fourth consecutive ACC title in the event.
Harris, a senior from Birmingham, England, won going away in 6.21 (20-4.50).
The FSU women also received scoring performances in the pole vault from Lauren Giffin, who tied for sixth at 3.91m (12-10), and both Briana Cherry-Bronson and Lakitta Johnson in the weight throw, each of whom posted personal-best efforts. Cherry-Bronson was sixth with a toss of 18.14 (59-6.25), while Johnson was eighth (17.28/56-8.50).
Florida State's women rolled up 29 points on the first full day of action and are tied for fifth with Virginia Tech.
Sophomore Daniel Salgado helped the Seminoles get the day off to a good start with a sixth-place performance in the heptathlon. Competing in his first heptathlon since the 2011 ACC Indoor Championship, Salgado put up 4,717 points, shattering his previous best of 4,324 in a ninth place showing last year.
The FSU men scored 24 points on the first full day and sit in fifth place, but are well-positioned to make a big move as the meet wraps up Saturday, thanks to a dominant qualifying effort in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes.
"We're sitting right now about where we were when we started," Braman said, referring to the men's scoring. "We qualified well - we could have qualified better - but obviously we had a whole bunch of ninth places [which don't qualify].
"We were a couple of eyelashes away from being in a much better spot. Now it's going to be a dog-fight like it was last year outdoors, where we had to come through and have a big last day."
While the Seminole men left a few points on the table, they made the best of qualifying efforts in the 60 and 200. Kemar Hyman (6.60) was the fastest qualifier in the 60 and one of four `Noles who made their way into Saturday's championship final. Teammate Horatio Williams (6.69) is the second seed, while two-time defending champion Maurice Mitchell (6.73) and David Ambler (6.80) give the `Noles half the field in the finals.
A similar performance unfolded in the 200 qualifying round as the `Noles advanced three to the finals, led by Mitchell who was the fastest qualifier (21.26). Williams advanced with the second-fastest time (21.39), while freshmen Stephen Newbold qualified fourth (21.49).
Newbold was also the top qualifier in the 400-meter dash (48.44). Darrin Gibson qualified fourth in the 800 (1.51.35).
"I think the biggest head-to-heads tomorrow are going to be the 60, the pole vault and probably the triple jump," Braman added.
On the women's side, distance coach Karen Harvey's crew once again came through in a big way. Three `Noles - all freshmen - advanced to the finals in the mile, led by Colleen Quigley (4:46.30), who qualified second. Linden Hall qualified fourth (4:46.85) and Worden was eighth-fastest (4:50.74).
"All three freshmen made the final in the mile and that's probably never happened - for any team," Braman said.
Brooks and Jessica Parry qualified fifth and seventh in the 800 with times of 2:08.70 and 2:10.09, respectively.
Rounding out FSU's qualifiers were Marecia Pemberton in the 60-meter dash, with a season-best time of 7.44, and Pierce in the 200 (24.35).
Fans can follow the action on a multitude of platforms, including @FSU_Track via Twitter, which will supplement extensive coverage, including recaps and photo galleries, at www.Seminoles.com.
The Atlantic Coast Conference will also provide a wide array of options to keep up with the action, including:
Twitter: @theACCchamps #ACCITF