Feb. 22, 2012
BOSTON, Mass. - Bob Braman's Florida State men's indoor track & field team arrived here Wednesday on a mission to bring home an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship that evaded them last season and left a sequential gap in the trophy case after an eight-year run as champions.
The Seminoles, ranked No. 20 nationally, begin their quest Thursday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, where the three-day ACC Indoor Championships will unfold.
By all accounts, the FSU men appear headed for a shootout with defending champion Virginia Tech. The Seminoles will lean heavily on a dynamic sprint group, while the Hokies' strength comes in the pole vault and throwing events. According to Braman, how the results shake out in the other events will largely determine the 2012 champion.
"We don't match head-to-head with Virginia Tech much on the men's side, so when we do we've got to get those head-to-head wins," Braman said.
Two-time ACC Indoor Track Performer of the Year Maurice Mitchell is the defending champion in both the 60- and 200-meter dash and will get plenty of support from fellow seniors Kemar Hyman and Horatio Williams in the sprints. Senior shot putter Michael Putman is the defending champion as well.
While the men go hunting a team title, a relatively young women's team enter the meet with an eye on the future. Though the women are ranked No. 21 nationally, they lack the overall scoring depth to match up with second-ranked and defending champion Clemson for the ACC team title. Still, the Seminoles have finished third or better each of the last four seasons and would like to continue that string.
Women's distance coach Karen Harvey's group should provide a bulk of the scoring with outstanding depth in the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 meters.
"On the women's side, we're looking more at the nationals," Braman said. "We're not going multiple-event our distance kids. We're going to have them ready to compete at nationals because we're not ready yet to be a conference-contending team. If we do things well it's not out of the realm of possibility that we could finish in the top 10 nationally."
The action begins today for the FSU men when Chris Snow and Daniel Salgado begin competition in the heptathlon. Most of the Seminole men and women will get going on Friday with a full slate of events scheduled. The meet wraps up Saturday afternoon.
Fans can follow the action on a multitude of platforms, including @FSU_Track via Twitter, which will supplement extensive coverage, including recaps and photo galleries, at www.Seminoles.com.
The Atlantic Coast Conference will also provide a wide array of options to keep up with the action, including: