Feb. 28, 2008
Chapel Hill, N.C.-- Florida State kicked off the first day of the 2008 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships with standout performances from freshman Gonzalo Barroilhet in the men's heptathlon and senior Matt Wernke who gave the Seminoles their first points of the tournament with a second-place finish in the weight throw.
With just three events officially completed, the FSU men are in third behind Clemson and North Carolina while the women have yet to score in the conference tournament, which runs through Saturday, March 1 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Through the first four stages of the heptathlon, Barroilhet (Santiago, Chile) is in first place with 3,062 points. The newcomer came away with a first-place, 22'11.25" finish in the long jump; a second-place 45'01.50" finish in the shot put and two third-place finishes in the 55m dash (6.79) and the high jump (6'04.25"). The men will complete the event tomorrow with the 55m hurdles, pole vault and 1000m run.
"Gonzalo did a great job," said head coach Bob Braman. "He's on pace for an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. He's got the lead in the event but he and the defending champion Matteo Sossa from North Carolina are running away and hiding from everybody and they're going to have a battle. Of the seven events, his best two are the pole vault and the high hurdles tomorrow."
Wernke (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished second in the men's weight throw with a 59'08.50" toss, the second-best mark of his career. The Chiles High graduate picked up his best throw of the night on his first try as he fell in behind UNC's Walter Henning.
On the women's side, sophomores Allyn Laughlin (Ambridge, Pa.) and Caila Coleman (Tallahassee, Fla.) competed in the women's weight throw at the Eddie Smith Field House earlier this afternoon. Laughlin tossed a career-best mark of 52'04.50" to finish 10th while Coleman fouled out.
Sophomore Valerie Flournoy (Gainesville, Fla.) finished in 12th place with 2,837 points in the women's heptathlon after an injury kept her from completing the 800m race, the last section of the event. Flournoy finished seventh in the shot put with a 36'02.75" toss, eighth in the long jump with a 17'03.50" leap, ninth in the 55m hurdles with an 8.33 and ninth in the high jump with a 5'00.25" mark.
"We're about where we expect to be right now," said Braman. "But we have 48 hours of incredibly high-level competition coming up."
Florida State's No. 2-ranked men's squad is looking for a sixth-straight conference title while the No. 14-ranked women are seeking a program-first ACC championship.