March 27, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas - Grete Sadeiko's second-day heptathlon performance at the 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays produced the second-best score in Florida State history and an eighth-place finish against a stacked field of 24.
Completing her first heptathlon in two years, the redshirt freshman from Estonia climbed as high as sixth place in the seven-event competition and closed out Thursday's action with 5,398 points, just 12 points shy of the school record (5,410) set by Carmelia Shivers in 1991.
Entering the final day with 3,186 points and alone in ninth place, Sadeiko got off to a quick start with the fifth-best long jump (5.73 meters/18-9.25) in the field and the fourth-best javelin mark (42.38m/139-0). By adding 1,481 points to her total after two events Thursday, Sadeiko climbed into sixth place. A 2:27.03 effort in the closing 800-meter run left her two points out of sixth place.
Regardless, the outcome, Sadeiko's performance was nothing short of outstanding.
"This is the first heptathlon that she has finished in two years and less than one year removed from complete ACL reconstruction," FSU Director of Field Events Dennis Nobles said. "I'm pretty happy. Could it have been better? Yes, it could have been better, because there were some events that were very average, but to come out less than a year after having your ACL reconstructed, compete as well as she did and score almost 5,400 points with a couple of very average events, I'm very happy. She's ready for better than that. I think that we're in a good place right now."
With only the top 24 heptathletes advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June, Sadeiko is very close to punching her ticket for a trip to Eugene, Ore. in May, if not already there. A year ago, the No. 24 qualifier had a season-best score of 5,397 points. Her next opportunity to secure a berth will come at the ACC Outdoor Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., April 17-19.
A year ago at the Texas Relays, Sadeiko was on her way to a solid collegiate debut when she was forced to withdraw from the competition prior to the start of the 800. Roughly one month later she suffered a devastating knee injury in practice which led to a medical hardship season.
Nobles, who has coached FSU's jumpers and multi-event athletes for 30 years, marveled at the work that has been done to get Sadeiko ready for the outdoor season, specifically citing her commitment and the work of athletic trainer Gwen Davis.
"This is a remarkable recovery," Nobles said. "I can't say enough about much work Gwen has done on her and just how compliant and devoted Grete has been to rehab. To be honest, I expected this next year. She's at least six months ahead of where I thought she would be."
Perhaps more importantly, Sadeiko's confidence is on the rise as is her fitness level.
"All indoor season she was never really healthy," Nobles said. "We could train for maybe two days and then have to take a couple days away. Now that we're getting some consistency in training, she's starting to see, `Hey, I'm faster and stronger than I've ever been. My technique is as good as it has ever been, or better.' I think that's finally starting to come home because she can do things on a daily basis."
Thursday's action at Mike A. Myers Stadium also included a pair of impressive performances in the women's hammer by newcomer Katja Vangsnes and veteran Briana Cherry-Bronson. Vangsnes, a multi-time winner of Norway's junior national title, placed 10th in her FSU outdoor debut with a throw of 57.11 meters (187-4). That is the second-best mark in Florida State history, trailing only LaKeisha Mose's school-record 57.22. Cherry-Bronson was close behind with a career-best mark of 54.57 meters (179-0), which moved the junior from Naples into third place on the Seminoles' all-time list.
Friday's competition schedule for the Seminoles is a day-long affair, starting early with the women's 4x100 relay of Marecia Pemberton, Anne Zagre, Der'Renae Freeman and Kali Davis-White, which brings the nation's fourth-fastest time into the competition.
Zagre will lead a trio of `Noles in the 100-meter hurdles, while Pemberton will try and improve on her FSU Relays win in the 100-meter dash (11.48), which is the third-fastest time nationally.
Among the Seminole standouts set to compete in field events are Chelsea Whalen (javelin and shot put), Kellion Knibb (discus and shot put), Freeman (long jump), Hannah Acton (pole vault) and Paul Madzivire (long jump).