March 21, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Serving both as gracious host and beneficiary of near-perfect conditions, Friday could not have gone a lot better for the Florida State track & field teams.
The opening day of the 35th FSU Relays included five combined wins for the Seminoles, individual and relay wins for a trio of future `Noles and three meet records by high school stars. By any measure it was a great opening act to the two-day meet, which features nearly 1500 athletes from 12 states.
"It was a great atmosphere today and the high school kids were getting after it," FSU coach Bob Braman said. "There were three meet records, a pretty good crowd and a lot of excitement with people coming to Florida State. It was a good day for FSU Relays top to bottom."
It didn't take the Seminoles long to record the first victory of the day. The quartet of Marecia Pemberton, Anne Zagre, Der'Renae Freeman and Jande Pierce moved the baton around the track in 44.29 to win the meet-opening 4x100 relay. What makes the mark, in the first outdoor meet of the season of the women's sprinters, even more impressive is it would have ranked 12th nationally in 2013.
FSU freshman Nicole Setterington didn't waste any time leaving her mark either, winning her collegiate 100-meter hurdles debut in 13.69 into a -1.3 head-wind.
The individual highlight of the day came from sophomore Hannah Acton, who led a 1-2-3 sweep by the Seminoles in the pole vault. Acton's victory came courtesy a lifetime best of 4.02 meters (13-2.25). Classmate Karly Jackson was second (3.87m/12-8.25), followed by freshman Madison Schmidt (3.72/12-2.50).
Not to be outdone, the Seminole men got on the winning side of things when senior Jakub Zivec captured the 1500-meter run in 3:49.28, followed by sophomore teammate Otniel Teixeira (4:53.87) in second place.
Senior transfer Darius King collected the Seminoles' fifth victory of the day, winning the high jump in 2.12 meters (6-11.50).
Beyond the victories, the Seminoles received solid second-place showings in the javelin from Garrett Singletary on the men's side (57.63m/189-1) and Chelsea Whalen for the women (50.99/167-3). Redshirt freshman Victoria Reiman, who set the FSU Relays high school discus meet record in 2012 as a senior at Bolles, was second with a personal-best mark of 43.91 meters (144-1).
"We had a lot we were trying to get done here today," Braman said. "The field events were probably a little better than the running events today with (Hannah) Acton, (Darius) King, (Tori) Reiman and (Chelsea) Whalen.
"In the running events, Setterington looked good running the 100 hurdles, which really benefits her. The 4x100 was really good. That's a team that is only going to get better and probably our fastest girl isn't in the lineup yet. The 4x100 is going to be a factor at nationals and that's great to see.
"(Jakub) Zivec and (Otniel) Teixeira both had a good 1500. Teixeira had a PR and so that was good to see."
The high school portion of the meet included plenty of drama as meet records were toppled in the boys 3200, the boys 4x800 relay and the girls long jump.
Three future Seminoles also found their way to the top of the podium during Friday's action. Wakulla High senior and FSU signee Madison Harris captured the 800-meter run in 2:14.67, while Estero High seniors Katie Slater and Araceli Leon, who have also signed with `Noles, teamed up on the winning 4x800 relay team (9:29.77). Slater was also third in the 800.
"It's a great to see the future Seminoles doing well," Braman said. "We're going to see some more of them tomorrow. In the case of Madison, she's at the top of the state rankings again and it looks like she's got a lot more. ...
"The Estero girls, particularly Katie Slater, looked good today. We're excited to see what those kids are going to do in our uniform, but if they're here doing it now and beating some of the best kids in the state, that's a good sign."
One of those Seminole signees in action Saturday is the nation's top-rated sprinter, Kendal Williams of Stanton Prep, who has already laid down the fastest 100-meter time of the year nationally (10.28).
Saturday's action begins at 8 a.m. with the high school consolation heats of the 3200. Field events begin at 10 a.m. and the first final on the track is set for 11:50 a.m. The meet draws to a close with the 4x400 relay, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
"I think we're in a good spot if we can have another good day like we had today, tomorrow, with individual accomplishments and bigger things lying ahead," Braman added.
You can keep track of the action via Twitter @FSU_Track and check back at www.seminoles.com for a complete recap.