Jan. 23, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The second-phase of Florida State's still-young indoor track & field season gets going in earnest Friday and Saturday at the New Mexico Cherry & Silver Invitational, where the Seminoles will be represented by a large group of sprinters and field event personnel, along with the women's distance team.
Senior Dentarius Locke, one of the top sprinters in the world, will make his debut in the 60-meter dash against strong competition in the meet, which will include more than 30 teams as well as post-collegiate athletes at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
"This is, from first glance, one of the best indoor track facilities in the country from warm-up, final staging and a beautiful banked track with a Mondo surface," FSU coach Bob Braman said. "This is a chance for us to do really well, particularly in the explosive events.
"You're into the season now. You're not knocking the rust off any more; you're not finding your way."
The Seminoles would certainly like to find their way back to the facility for the March 14-15 NCAA Indoor Championships.
"It ratchets it up a little a more [as the NCAA site]," Braman said. "I think there is a little carry-over."
With two meets already in the books, a number of Seminoles are already poised to earn NCAA Championships berths, which go to the top 16 athletes in each event.
Another reason for the trip is to get acclimated to competing at altitude, which impacts performance. Albuquerque is nearly 5,000 feet above sea level.
Among the Seminoles competing who have already turned in nationally-ranked marks are: James Harris (No. 2, high jump), Der'Renae Freeman (No. 4, long jump), Briana Cherry-Bronson (No. 11, weight throw), Chelsea Whalen and Kellion Knibb (Nos. 22 and 29, shot put), Georgia Peel (No. 9, mile) and the men's 4x400 relay (No. 5).
Like Locke, several Seminoles will get their first taste of action in their specialty events, including Elizabeth Ichite and Sage Watson in the 400, Nicole Setterington in the 60-meter hurdles as well as Alonzo Russell, Michael Cherry and Harris in the 400.
Freshmen Jalen Ramsey and John Franklin III will make their track & field debuts, after joining the squad from the BCS National Championship football team. Ramsey slated for action in the long jump, where he will be joined by veterans Stefan Brits and Paul Madzivire. Franklin with compete in the 60-meter dash along with another promising freshman, Cejhae Greene.
Friday's action begins at 6 p.m. (ET) with the women's weight throw and men's long jump and should conclude at approximately 11:15 p.m. Saturday's action begins at 12 noon (ET) and is scheduled to wrap up at 5:35 p.m. You can follow the meet with live results at: http://liverunningresults.com/ . Or you can keep up to speed via Twitter @FSU_Track.