March 20, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Now in its 35th year, the FSU Relays remains one of the biggest and most popular outdoor track & field events in the nation, and this year's edition is no exception.
More than 1,500 high school, college and post-collegiate athletes will descend on Mike Long Track for the two-day event, which begins Friday morning and runs through Saturday at 5 p.m.
"It's an exciting time, even though our track & field team is just getting unwrapped," Florida State coach Bob Braman said. "The indoor superstars, more often than not, won't compete, but we have some people champing at the bit to compete.
"It's still a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun to run at home and to run this meet. Our track is known as a fast track, so we've got a lot of people who didn't get opportunities indoors that are really pumped to get things started, whether they're All-Americans or whether they're young people."
In all, 112 high school and 24 college teams will take part in the meet, with much of the focus on the high school athletes.
"The high school meet is first-rate; elite athletes coming to our facility," Braman said. "It's real well-run meet. It's a great distance carnival because the weather is usually really, really good from a state of Florida standpoint. You've got a lot of kids trying to set lifetime bests and impress the college coaches.
"It has become a major, major high school meet and we're proud of that. The Florida State Track & Field Officials Association and everybody involved does an unbelievable job."
Any doubt as to the draw of the event can be put to rest by the geographic diversity of the field. In all, programs - college or high school - from 12 states will be represented. While the vast majority of those hail from Florida and Georgia, programs from South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee will be competing alongside those from Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
In addition to the Seminoles, in-state collegiate programs competing include Florida, Florida A&M and UNF.
Now fewer than five former Seminoles who have competed on the Olympic or world stage will be in action, including current FSU standout Anne Zagre. Kimberly Williams, fresh off her bronze medal triple jump performance at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, will compete along with Gonzalo Barroilhet, who claimed two medals at last weekend's South American Championships. Ngoni Makusha, the 2011 Bowerman Award winner, will compete in the long jump and on a stacked 4x100 relay team. Former US Olympian Rafeeq Curry will also compete in the triple jump.
Among the high school stars scheduled for action are 2014 FSU signee Kendal Williams, the nation's top-ranked short sprinter who recently ran the fastest high school 100-meter dash (10.28) in the United States. Another Seminole signee, Wakulla High senior Madison Harris, will race in the 800 where she currently holds the top time in Florida.
There is no admission fee for the meet and fans can browse through the Nike and Capital City Runner tents, purchase refreshments or pick up the 2014 FSU track & field poster.
You can follow the action via Twitter @FSU_Track or get daily recaps at Seminoles.com.