March 10, 2012
NAMPA, Idaho - Maurice Mitchell and Horatio Williams put the Florida State men's team on the board Friday night at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship, finishing third and fifth, respectively, in the 200-meter dash finals.
The Seminole teammates were side-by-side in the first of two heats for the finals, with Mitchell blasting out to an early lead, only to get clipped by Arkansas' Akheem Gauntlett at the finish, 20.62-20.66. Williams was third in the first heat in 20.89.
Texas A&M's Ameer Webb won the second heat and the title in 20.57, followed by Gauntlett. Indiana's Kind Butler was fourth.
With 10 points, the Florida State will head into Saturday's final competition with a chance to continue their string of top 10 finishes. The Seminoles are currently tied for eighth place.
Amy Harris put the Florida State women on the board in the long jump, placing seventh. Her best jump of 6.33m (20-9.75) gave the senior her first career NCAA podium finish.
Despite running away with his heat, Mitchell was the No. 2 qualifier (20.60), trailing only the blistering standard set by Webb of Texas A&M (20.39). Williams qualified sixth (20.77) after finishing second in the second heat of the preliminary rounds.
Mitchell will get another chance to climb up on the podium Saturday when he and teammate Kemar Hyman compete in the 60-meter dash final.
Hyman posted the second-fastest 60-meter qualifying time on Friday, winning his third heat in 6.57; just .01 off his season-best time. Mitchell qualified fifth overall in a season-best 6.59, finishing second to top-seeded Jeff Demps (6.52) in the first heat.
Demps is the defending national champion, while Mitchell was third. Hyman is making his first NCAA Indoor Championship appearance. Williams failed to get out of the final after running a respectably 6.67.
Hannah Brooks opened the competition for the Seminoles in the opening heat of the women's mile run. With the top four from each of two heats and the next two fastest times qualifying for Saturday's final, Brooks left nothing to chance. Running in a pack of three to five, helped keep the pace honest throughout the race. That proved to be a prudent decision as the graduate student finished fifth in 4:41.96, which earned her a spot in the finals.
Senior Michael Putman's first indoor national appearance in the shot put didn't unfold as he had hoped. Putman's second of three throws in the first flight - 18.63m (61-1.50) - left him with a fifth-place finish his group. With only the top nine throwers advancing, Putman's indoor season came to a close with an 11th-place finish, just two places at .22m out of a spot in the finals.
Junior sprinter Marecia Pemberton couldn't make up ground out of the blocks in the 60-meter dash and finished fifth in the second heat in 7.40. Pemberton finished 11th in the field of 18.