April 7, 2012
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Michelle Jenije's brilliant senior season at Florida State added just a little more sparkle Saturday with her triple jump victory at the 68th Florida Relays.
Jenije's second victory of the outdoor season came on the same Percy Beard Field runway where she began her collegiate career as a freshman competing for the University of Florida.
"It does feel good to come here and to win on this old track that used to be my home," Jenije said, flashing a wide smile. "It was satisfying."
The Tallahassee native came into the meet with the nation's best jump and used a 13.33-meter effort (43-9), that was good enough to turn back Clemson's April Sinkler by a half-inch. It was Jenije's fourth victory in her final year of eligibility, to go along with three runner-up finishes.
"[Winning] never gets old," said Jenije, who had a string of consecutive meets with 44-foot efforts snapped at two. "I'm still trying to progress every meet, so today it's nice to be consistent, but I still want to continue to jump further every meet. I'm happy, but not satisfied."
On a day marred by yet another failed exchange by the men's 4x100 relay team, pole vaulter Drew Marcello provided one of highlights. The red-shirt sophomore from Coral Springs, Fla. set a new career-best by clearing 5.10m (16-8.75) on his second attempt, after needing third and final attempts to get over 4.80 and 5.00.
Marcello handled those anxious attempts, then hit a vault that could well make him an NCAA East Region qualifier for the first time.
FSU associate head coach Harlis Meaders provided a long view of what the team carried away from the two-day meet as they look toward next weekend's Seminole Invitational, followed by the ACC Championship April 19-21 at the University of Virginia.
"We had a couple promising things happen," Meaders said. "Drew Marcello did really well in the pole vault and Michelle Jenije continues to excel. We also saw some holes we need to have filled on the team and we have a couple of weeks to get prepared for the ACC Championships.
"A lot of younger guys are going to have a chance to step up and fill some of the voids and we're looking forward to see some of those young men and women step up to the challenge."
The `Noles will be looking for a little more from both the men's and women's relay teams.
The women were 13th out of 45 teams in the 4x100 relay in a season-best 45.51, then added a season-best 3:45.94 in the 4x400, though neither were marks the `Noles were looking for. While the men's 4x100 failed to finish, a patch-work 4x400 `A' put together a 3:12.49 that was 20th out of 45 teams.
A rare event - the sprint medley - produced the best relay finish of the day for Florida State as Kieran Showler-Davis, David Ambler, Ronald Bolden and Darrin Gibson brought the baton around in 3:20.88 to finish fourth overall and second among college teams.
Clearly there's plenty of work to be done if the Seminole men are going to extend their streak of seven consecutive ACC titles.
"The ACC Championship is just two weeks out," Meaders said. "We've got a chance to get some things accomplished at home. ... We've got time and I think we'll be adequately prepared when it's time to go."
Count Jenije among those who is looking forward to added to her collection of wins with an ACC title in the triple jump, after finishing second at the ACC Indoor Championships.
"I definitely want to take home a gold in a conference meet this year, and we have a lot of competition, but I'm starting to understand what I do that makes me jump certain ways," she said. "I pray that I will continue to do that and push for bigger jumps after that."
Most of FSU's highlights from the meet came Friday, when Maurice Mitchell won the 200 in a nation-leading time of 20.08, while Kemar Hyman was second in the 100 in 10.14, which tied the Cayman Islands national record and earned him a spot in the London Olympics.
Among the other highlights, Chelsi Woodruff's 10:38.78 in the 3000-meter steeplechase marked a 20-second personal-best and moved her into eighth place among Seminoles all-time. Chelsea Whalen was fourth in the javelin (44.77m/146-10) and Lauren Giffin finished sixth in the pole vault (3.90m/12-9.50).
Discus thrower David Lhamonie used an all-time best effort of 48.07 (157-8) to place seventh.
Stanford Invitational Recap
A handful of Seminole distance runners made the most of their trip to Palo Alto, Calif. this weekend for the Stanford Invitational, which wrapped up late Friday night.
Junior Kayleigh Tyerman, an Oregon native who began her collegiate career in Northern California, turned in the second-fastest 5000-meter performance in FSU history, placing eighth overall a huge personal-best of 16:09.74.
Tyerman wasn't the only one to make a run up FSU's all-time performance lists. Freshman Colleen Quigley's debut in the 3000-meter steeplechase produced the fourth-fastest time (10:13.73) in Seminole history and was good for third among all collegians in the field.
Junior Jennifer Dunn's debut in a crowded 10,000-meter field led to a solid time of 34:19.73, which sits fourth all-time for the `Noles.
On the men's side, Michael Fout began his comeback from an injury that has kept him from racing since the end of his All-American cross country season. The junior finished 20th overall - he was the 10th collegian - in the 10,000-meters in 28:57.89. Senior Seth Proctor improved to ninth on FSU's all-time list with a personal-best of 29:26.09, while senior transfer Breandan O Neill ran 29:28.87 in his debut at the distance.