April 6, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida State's Colleen Quigley and Amanda Winslow closed out an unseasonably cool but productive Friday at the 69th Pepsi Florida Relays by winning the final two races of the night at Percy Beard Track.
Quigley opened her season in style with a controlled and comfortable victory in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Her winning time of 10:06.72 also set a new meet record.
Winslow pulled the curtain on the day, winning the 5000-meter run in a personal-best time of 16:00.46, which is the second-fastest time in Florida State history. The senior All-American led a 1-2-3 finish by the Seminoles, with Kayleigh Tyerman (16:12.79) and freshman Georgia Peel (16:26.09) chasing her across the finish line.
"I think this group as a whole was really impressive," FSU women's distance coach Karen Harvey said. "You could tell almost from the gun that [Quigley] didn't feel good. The steeple is a lot of hard work. ... Even though she didn't feel good, with 600 to go she stuck to the plan and went hard. I was impressed with her guts to stick to her plan. ...
"For Winslow, that's years upon years of consistent hard training that she can just go out there and pop a race like that. She is leaving very happy and I'm very impressed."
There were plenty of highlights on a day which marked a host of season debuts by individuals and a number of personal-bests.
Sprint standouts Marvin Bracy and Dentarius Locke finished third in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash, respectively. Racing in his first collegiate 100, Bracy laid down a time of 10.20 to finish right behind Olympian Aaron Brown (10.15) of USC and Virginia Tech's Darrell Wesh in the featured fast heat.
Locke won the second heat of the 200 in 20.72, which proved to be the second-fastest legal time on a blustery day.
"Bracy's race was really good," FSU associate head coach Ken Harnden said. "From what I've ever seen of Marvin, that's the first and only time he's ever been in a race where there were people who potentially could be better than him in that race; have run faster than him and are experienced. They moved him on late. I think that was a good learning experience. Anytime you run a PR, that's a good day."
Harnden, who directs FSU's sprinters, was equally pleased with what he saw from Locke.
"Locke, in kind of rough conditions - he ran into a headwind the first 100 meters - ran really well," Harnden said. "He controlled the race. He died a little bit coming home, but for his second 200 of the year, I'm really happy for him."
Freshman Sage Watson continued her upward arc in the 400-meter hurdles, lowering her collegiate-best mark to 58.20, which ranks as the second-fastest time of her career. Watson placed eighth in a loaded field.
Junior Anne Zagre opened her outdoor season in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.31 to place ninth.
Back over the men's side, junior Alonzo Russell registered his fastest 400-meter dash at sea level, running 46.71 to place ninth in a field which included three Olympians. One of those was fellow FSU student Josh Mance, who competed unattached and placed fourth in 45.76.
"I'm actually pretty happy," Harnden said. "Marvin had an outdoor PR. Sage rans the second-fastest time of her life. Locke ran one of his top four or five times. Alonzo opened up with basically his PR in the open 400. Zagre ran well. The 13.31 is the fastest opener she's ever had the first two hurdles were not very good. She closed really well."
Freshman Kellion Knibb was sixth in a stout discus field with a throw of 52.02 meters (170-8).
Among other reasons for the coaching staff to be optimistic were the season-best performances of Tremaine Grant (14.22, 110 hurdles) and Markindey Sineus (58.27m/191-2, hammer). Sineus' toss was a career-best. So were the performances of Stargell Williams (46.74m/152-5, discus), James Rhoden (54.14, 400 hurdles), Sarah Chandler (1:01.02, 400 hurdles) and Karly Jackson (3.75m/12-3.50, pole vault).
"I think we competed well," Harnden said. "The conditions were not great, so I'm pretty happy with what we did. It's been a pretty good day."
Certainly, it was made better by the strong finish from the FSU women's distance team.
"Today was not high-pressured," said Quigley, who competed for the first time since the NCAA Indoor Championships. "I just wanted to open safely ... focus on my form a lot and get a good time to get ready for ACC's in a couple of weeks"
Winslow was equally pleased with her first performance since finishing second at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the mile run.
"I'm definitely happy," Winslow said. "It was a 21-second PR and I felt pretty relaxed. I was just going out there to get a good, strong opener. I'm focusing more on the 1500, so the 5k is just to get some base and over-distance training. I'm definitely pleased."
The Seminoles will get back to work Saturday morning with a heavy dose of field events competition to close out the Florida Relays.