Jan. 26, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Marvin Bracy isn't the kind of person to sneak up on anyone. Usually the music blaring from his Beats headphones gives him away. Of course, so does his prowess as one of the most decorated high school sprinters of all time.
Bracy won't be sneaking up on anyone on the collegiate scene either, not after announcing his arrival as the next great Florida State sprinter with a victory in the 60-meter dash finals Saturday at the Razorback Invitational. The freshman from Orlando, Fla. blitzed the field at the Randal Tyson Track Complex in a nation-leading time of 6.61 seconds.
"I was really nervous because of my hamstring, and I hadn't competed since last May," Bracy said. "It's very exciting to go out there and do what I said I was going to do. This gives me something to build on."
Bracy's hamstring, which has been a problem both on the track and the football field for the dual-sport Seminole, gave him no reason for pause. He navigated all three rounds - preliminaries, semifinal and final - without issue and was clearly the class of the field. He followed Friday's preliminary round win in 6.64 with an identical time in Saturday's semifinal before rolling in the final. He finished a full .10 ahead of the runner-up, while teammate Dentarius Locke was fourth in 6.73.
"Marvin was very impressive," said FSU head coach Bob Braman, who was especially pleased with how the freshman handled the rounds and came away healthy. "It was great for him."
"I've got all of my encouragement back, now that I've got one under my belt ... I can go out there with a clear head the next time," said Bracy, who even admitted he was surprised with how well his fitness held up through the rounds despite just three weeks of practice. "It actually did (surprise me) because I was behind most people, who had been training since football started.
"I've just got to play catch-up."
Bracy wasn't the lone winner Saturday for the Seminoles.
Senior women's distance standout Amanda Winslow led a dominant performance by the Seminoles in the invitational section of the mile run, winning in 4:33.22. Sophomore Colleen Quigley was third in 4:37.55, followed by freshman Georgia Peel in fourth (4:40.55).
"Man, did Winslow look like a million bucks," Braman gushed. "She didn't look like she was slowing down at all."
To provide some perspective to what the trio accomplished, they came away from the meet with the nation's second, fifth and ninth fastest times nationally. All three were significant personal bests.
Senior Jessica Parry added a personal best in the 3000-meter run, placing seventh in 9:25.28. Women's distance coach Karen Harvey also received a fifth-place performance from freshman Natalie Concepcion in the invitational 800 (2:12.68).
Briana Cherry-Bronson rounded out the scoring for the Seminole women by placing fifth in the weight throw with a hurl of 18.02 meters (59-1.50).
In a field that included eight nationally ranked teams, the unranked FSU women placed seventh with 46 points.
The 21st-ranked Florida State men placed eighth out of 11 teams. The Seminoles' middle distance runners chipped in with Darrin Gibson placing fifth in the 800 with a season-best time of 1:50.09. Michael Fout was eighth in the mile run (4:05.47).
Junior All-American Phillip Young made his season debut in the triple jump and finished fifth in a loaded field with a strong opening leap of 15.44m (50-8). Junior transfer Owen Cain was eight in 15.13 (49-7.75).
"There were a lot of positives," said Braman. "It's definitely a glass half full. We're starting to show progress."
While the FSU coaching staff did not place any emphasis on the team scoring, they were especially encouraged by a host of new personal or collegiate bests. Russell finished out of the scoring in 10th place in the 400, but set a new career best in 47.43.
All four FSU women in the 400 - Sage Watson (54.36), Elizabeth Ichite (56.13), Sarah Chandler (56.38) and Marsha Ariol (57.21) - set either personal or season bests. So did Kayleigh Tyerman in the 3000-meter run (9:39.52), which was only good for ninth.