March 6, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- After sweeping the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Florida State men's and women's teams aren't quite ready to turn their attention to the outdoor season.
A group of 16 Seminoles - seven men and nine women - have qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 14-15 at the Albuquerque (N.M) Convention Center. It's a select group when you consider only the top 16 individuals and top 12 relay teams make the field.
"The interesting thing about this group is that truly, they can all score," Florida State coach Bob Braman said.
There is no shortage of potential scoring firepower between the Seminole men's and women's teams.
Junior Colleen Quigley is the nation's top seed in the mile run (4:32.11) and teammate Linden Hall (4:32.25) is the No. 2 seed. Two FSU men - high jumper James Harris (2.27m/7-5.25) and triple jumper Jonathan Reid (16.32m/53-6.50) - check in as the No. 2 seeds in their respective events.
"The men's 4x400, which is ranked fifth and has some fresh legs, has a chance to do that or better," Braman said. "Then you've got the No. 2 seed in the men's high jump, the No. 2 seed in the men's triple jump and a guy like (Dentarius) Locke, who was the runner-up outdoors in the 100. He's seeded fifth, but is two one-thousandths off of second."
Locke will compete in the 60-meter dash with a seed time of 6.58, but has head-to-head wins over three of the four men ranked in front of him this season.
Sophomore Der'Renae Freeman will make her NCAA Championship debut in the women's long jump as the sixth seed with a career-best mark of 6.38 meters (20-11.50).
In addition to Quigley and Hall, the powerhouse Florida State women's distance group will also be represented by Hannah Walker (15:58.15) and Pippa Woolven (16:01.57) in the 5000-meter run as the Nos. 13 and 15 seeds, respectively. The Seminoles' distance medley relay team qualified eighth with a season-best time of 11:01.59.
Junior Briana Cherry-Bronson will make her first NCAA Championships appearance in the weight throw. The FSU school record-holder with a mark of 20.98 meters (68-10) is the No. 13 seed nationally.
Harris will undoubtedly be the busiest man during the championship weekend. In addition to the high jump, the senior from Lanett, Ala. qualified 14th in the 400-meter dash (46.15) and is a member of FSU's fifth-seeded 4x400 relay team (3:06.79).
Alonzo Russell, Harris and Locke were members of last year's school-record and third-place 4x400 team at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Freshman star Michael Cherry and sophomores Ricardo Roy and Otniel Teixeira join them as members of the relay pool.
"It's a powerful, small group, which has historically been our M.O. for indoors," Braman said. "You need to be on and you need to be healthy and you need to maximize your points. We've done that historically. Rarely has it resulted in an NCAA title chase. Probably the ultimate goal for the men would be to get on the podium and in the top four. ... On the women's side, the ultimate goal would a top-10.
"Those would be historically where we've been indoors and a point of fairly high pride for us for indoor track and use it as a launching pad for outdoors."
ACC Champs will be honored before Saturday's baseball game