March 27, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Competing in the first heptathlon of her collegiate career, Florida State freshman Grete Sadeiko is in 12th place at the conclusion of the first day of competition at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Sadeiko, a native of Estonia, has 3,183 points through the first four events against an opening field of 24 athletes that includes many of the nation's best multi-event performers.
"It's a solid start; a good start," Florida State assistant coach Dennis Nobles said. "All in all I'm pretty pleased with the day. There were ups and downs along the way. The hurdle race was going really well and all of sudden she hits the ninth hurdle and nearly falls down."
Sadeiko opened the competition at Mike A. Myers Stadium by running 14.59 in the 100-meter hurdles, which was good 897 points, despite the near disastrous mishap. She came back in the high jump with a last-attempt clearance of 1.69 meters (5-6.50), which netted 842 points.
A sub-par performance in the shot put (11.09m/39-0.50) was good for only 601 points, but Sadeiko closed her day in the 200 by running 25.48, which was good enough to add 843 points to her total.
With three events - the long jump, javelin and 800 - to be completed Thursday, Nobles is very optimistic about the direction Sadeiko is moving in their first heptathlon competition working together.
Despite her 12th-place standing after Wednesday's competition, Sadeiko is poised to make a significant move on a large group of athletes that are within striking distance. She is just 26 points out of 10th place and only 102 out of sixth against a field which includes some of the nation's best multi-event athletes.
Mississippi State's Erica Bougard, the NCAA Indoor Championship heptathlon winner, leads with 3,570 points. Arkansas' Makeba Alcide, the runner-up to Bougard indoors, is second with 3,480 points.
"It's a very good field," Nobles said. "Every year the Texas Relays multis puts six, seven or eight of the 24 (qualifiers) into the nationals. Everybody that's here will be a player on the national scene. It's a legitimate test."
Sadeiko is no stranger to the heptathlon. She finished fourth at the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships when she recorded her all-time best total of 5,705 points, and was ninth at the 2011 World Junior Championships.
"She's a good second-day heptathlete," said Nobles, who would like Sadeiko to average 750 points over the final three events. "Her long jump is pretty good when things are clicking. Her javelin is very good compared to the rest of the field and her 800 is very solid.
"If she has a really good second day she could come close to her PR. ... If we can walk out of here with a score in the mid-5,400 or 5,550 range I'll be ecstatic about it."
A final total in that range should virtually assure Sadeiko one of the 24 spots in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championship field. In 2012, the 24th and final qualifier for the NCAA meet had a season-best 5,093-point performance.
In addition to Sadeiko, a handful of Seminoles will also be competing in the four-day meet at the University of Texas.
Freshman Sage Watson and sophomore Sarah Chandler will compete in the 400-meter hurdle preliminaries Thursday. Freshman Morne Moolman, the bronze medalist at the 2012 Junior World Championships in the javelin, will make his collegiate debut.
Also competing at the Texas Relays are: Andrew Lahaye and Drew Marcello (pole vault), Stefan Brits (long jump), Owen Cain (triple jump) and James Harris (high jump). Chelsea Whalen and Kellion Knibb will each compete in the shot put. Whalen will also compete in the javelin, while Knibb is scheduled to throw the discus. Maryke Brits will compete in both the 100 hurdles and the women's long jump.
Three FSU men's distance runners are competing Friday at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Cal. Freshman Zak Seddon will make his collegiate debut in the 3000-meter steeple chase, while senior Breandan O Neill and junior Josh Gracia will race in the 10,000 meters.
You can follow the action via Twitter @FSU_Track or by visiting the track & field page at www.seminoles.com.