March 3, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State senior All-American sprinter Maurice Mitchell entered the weekend looking to assure himself a spot at next weekend's NCAA Indoor National Championship meet in Nampa, Idaho.
A finalist in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes last season, Mitchell made sure he'll have a chance to repeat those feats with an outstanding performance at the Arkansas Last Chance meet. Mitchell won both races, but more importantly posted an automatic qualifying time in the 200 (20.70) and checked in with a 6.61 in the 60, just .01 off the automatic standard at that distance.
Both times are season-bests for the Kansas City, Mo. native, whose 200 time ranks third nationally, while his 60 time is tied for seventh this season.
Mitchell will have company among `Noles in Idaho. Kemar Hyman had already punched his ticket with a 6.56 60-meter auto time, which ranks 11th in the world. Fellow teammate Horatio Williams, an All-American at LSU last season, should also be in the field for the 200 at nationals after placing fourth at Arkansas in a season-best 20.83 that ranks fifth nationally. Williams, however, is not likely to give the `Noles three men in the 60 at nationals, despite a season-best 6.66 in the preliminary round at Arkansas. That time likely leaves the senior transfer just on the wrong side of the bubble among qualifiers.
"Maurice and Horatio had a great weekend," said FSU head coach Bob Braman.
There was no other significant movement in the national indoor rankings by the Seminoles this past weekend as the team fanned out over three locations attempting to make a final push for a spot in the NCAA field.
Women's sprinter Marecia Pemberton appears to be sitting on the bubble in the 60-meter dash after narrowly failing to improve on her season-best time of 7.33. Pemberton, who ran at the Alabama High Tide Qualifier in Birmingham, posted a 7.34 time in the finals to finish third.
Pemberton will have to wait until Monday, when the qualifiers for the NCAA Championships are announced.
Among the women, only Amanda Winslow (3000 meters) is a lock, having posted an automatic qualifying time. Hannah Brooks (mile), Amy Harris (long jump) and Michelle Jenije (triple jump) will likely receive at-large spots based on their individual rankings.
On the men's side, shot putter Michael Putman also appears in line for his first NCAA Indoor appearance, while Phillip Young (triple jump) and Paul Madzivire (long jump) are in the conversation for at-large berths.
In addition to the indoor meets at Arkansas and in Birmingham, a handful of `Noles traveled to Notre Dame for the Alex Wilson Invitational, where senior David Forrester cast his lost for a spot at nationals in the mile run.
Forrester joined the sub-four minute mile list with a third-place finish in 3:59.13, which, depending on the number of scratches from that event, could earn him a trip to nationals. His time narrowly missed the indoor school record of 3:58.85, set by Tom Lancashire in 2006.
While the indoor season winds to a close for a number of `Noles, the outdoor season also get underway for some FSU athletes, who made the trek to Jacksonville for the UNF Spring Break Invitational.
Chelsea Whalen highlighted the competition with her winning throw in the javelin of 46.93m (154-0), which should earn the sophomore a spot in the NCAA Outdoor First Round competition later this spring. Whalen also finished second in the shot put during the two-day meet.
Florida State Results
ARKANSAS LAST CHANCE MEET (Indoor)
ALEX WILSON INVITATIONAL (Indoor)
ALABAMA HIGH TIDE QUALIFIER (Indoor)
UNF SPRING BREAK INVITATIONAL (Outdoor)