Jan. 14, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State senior James Harris has been named the first Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Indoor Track & Field Performer of the Week for the 2014 season.
Harris led a group of 51 Seminoles into season-opening action at the UAB Blazer Invitational over the weekend, capturing the high jump with a nation-leading leap of 2.23 meters (7-3.75). The Lanett, Ala. native broke the meet record at the Birmingham Crossplex Arena on Friday. One day later, Harris anchored the Seminoles' 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish in 3:07.70, which ranks as the third-fastest performance of the season and No. 8 all-time for the Seminoles indoors.
One of three returning members from last year's NCAA Indoor Championship third-place relay team, Harris brought the baton around with a split of 46.1 as he teamed with Alonzo Russell, newcomer Michael Cherry and Dentarius Locke.
Harris was one of three athletes to earn honorable mention distinction for USTFCCCA Division I National Male Athlete of the week.
Men, women earn USTFCCCA preseason national rankings
The Florida State men's team has opened its 2014 indoor season with a No. 7 ranking in the USFTCCCA Computer poll, while the women's team checks in at No. 19. Both the Seminole men and women are the highest ranked Atlantic Coast Conference teams in either poll.
Preseason rankings are based on the 2013 final standings for the opening week of the season and will be adjusted each poll based on 2014 results.
Coach Bob Braman's FSU men earned their points on the strength of last year's All-American 4x400 relay team, sprinter Denatrius Locke (60-meter dash), James Harris (high jump) and Stefan Brits (long jump). Locke earned votes in the preseason balloting for The Bowerman Award, presented to the nation's most outstanding collegiate track & field athlete.
The Seminole women earned their points in large part due to the strength of the distance medley relay team, which placed fourth at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships. Three of four members of that team - Colleen Quigley, Georgia Peel and Sage Watson - return this season. Quigley also received votes for The Bowerman Award.
Seminoles headed back to Birmingham
The FSU men's and women's teams will return to the Birmingham Crossplex Arena this weekend for the Auburn Invitational. The meet will mark the debut for the distance runners and will also include a solid contingent of field event performers. The one-day meet is set for Saturday.