May 3, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Combining for nine victories, four career-best marks and a handful of season-best standards, the Florida State men's and women's track & field teams made the most of Friday's Seminole Twilight Invitational at Mike Long Track.
"In less than ideal conditions we competed hard and made some progress," FSU head coach Bob Braman said. "Everybody's excited. Both teams will be competing next weekend to put a stamp on their national rankings in the last-chance qualifying weekend."
Between intermittent showers and breezy conditions, the Seminoles had plenty to be happy about after the third and final home meet of the season.
Junior Chelsea Whalen came away as the top performer of the meet, registering a pair of new career-best standards. Whalen got things going in the javelin, bettering her 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championship finalist mark with a throw of 48.06 meters (157-8). While the throw was only good for third place, it vaulted the Whalen to No. 14 in the NCAA East Preliminary rankings and No. 30 on the NCAA list.
Whalen wasn't through. She continued to build on her record-setting season in the shot put with another career-best, pushing her school record to 16.35m (53-7.75) on the way to victory.
Like Whalen in the javelin, freshman Kellion Knibb was unable to convert her new personal-best in the discus into a victory. Still, the Jamaican native eclipsed 180 feet for the first time in her career with a throw of 54.88m (180-1), and climbed to No. 10 on the NCAA national list.
Redshirt freshman Karly Jackson recorded the first victory of her collegiate career, capturing the pole vault with a new career-best mark of 3.81 meters (12-6). The winning vault was good for a 17-place improvement to 59th in her chase to attain one of the 48 NCAA East Preliminary meet qualifying spots.
Junior sprinter Dentarius Locke continued his impressive first season with the Seminoles. Buoyed by a strong start out of the blocks, Locke blazed his way to victory in the 200-meter dash in a season-best time of 20.63. That standard moved the Tampa native to No. 4 in the East and No. 10 in the NCAA this season.
Another junior, Anne Zagre, doubled up to win the 100-meter hurdles in 13.40 and the 200 in 24.09, which is the fastest half-lap mark by a Seminole this season. Tremaine Grant won the 110-meter hurdles (14.27) and Darrin Gibson captured the 800 (1:50.63) in the final home meet of their careers.
Strong second-place performances were also turned in by junior transfers Stargell Williams and Alonzo Russell. Williams was the runner-up in the shot put, narrowly missing a personal-best with a throw of 17.89m (58-8.50), while Russell finished second in the 400 (46.88). Elizabeth Ichite was also a runner-up in the 200 (24.48), which was just off her season-best.
"It was the ideal weekend to be at home because we had final exams and it's the last week of the season where you can really train for the end of the season and not the end of the week," Braman said. "It was definitely a good weekend not to travel."
The Seminoles will split up next weekend as they chase NCAA East Preliminary standards for the final time. Most of the sprinters and field event competitors will travel to Georgia Tech, while the distance crew will head to the Virginia Challenge.