March 29, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida State men's and women's track & field teams return to action Friday, with a large group headed to Jacksonville for the UNF Best Western Invitational, while jumpers Amy Harris and Michelle Jenije will compete at the Texas Relays.
"It's a big weekend," said FSU head coach Bob Braman. "It's a coming out party for coach [Karen] Harvey's women's distance group as they get going, guns blazing. And we've got some good field event people competing in Texas and at UNF.
"This will be a busy weekend. It's almost like moving day."
While the majority of the men's sprint contingent and distance teams take a break following last weekend's FSU Relays, Braman hopes that a number of athletes will position themselves for spots in the ACC Championship meet lineup, and perhaps, register NCAA Region qualifying marks.
Assistant coach Dennis Nobles will be monitoring the action in Austin, Texas, where Harris and Jenije hope to build on their outstanding indoor seasons. Harris, a senior long jumper, actually got her final outdoor campaign off to a big start at home last week when she won the long jump with a leap of 6.40m (21-0). That mark currently ranks third nationally and first among NCAA Division I East Region jumpers.
Jenije makes her outdoor season debut at the Texas Relays in the triple jump, her first competitive event since placing second at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa, Idaho earlier this month.
Harvey's distance women will take center stage Friday night at UNF. Seminoles Violah Lagat, Jessica Parry, Kayleigh Tyerman and Jackie Drouin will compete in the 1500-meter run. The represent four of nine entrants who have posted seeding times of 4:30 or faster. While Lagat is coming off an injury that cut short her indoor season, Drouin will be making her FSU debut. A fifth-year graduate student, she had a year of eligibility remaining following a standout career at Columbia.
Friday's 5000-meter race will have a distinct garnet & gold flavor as seven Seminoles enter the race among the top 10 seeds. The FSU lineup includes All-Americans Amanda Winslow and Hannah Brooks, Astrid Leutert, Aubree Worden, Colleen Quigley, Jennifer Dunn and Linden Hall. Chelsi Woodruff is seeded 16th, giving the `Noles 8 half of the top 16 spots based on time. They figure to be pushed by a trio of runners from rival Florida.
A handful of Seminole women also hope to post some provisional NCAA Region field event marks, including Danielle Williams (high jump), Lauren Giffin (pole vault) and Shanea Rufus (hammer). On the men's side, Andrew Lahaye (pole vault), Phillip Young (long jump and triple jump) and Stefan Brits (long jump) are poised for breakthrough performances.
Among the FSU competitors on the track, Stephen Newbold (400 and 200) is expected to use the meet as a final tune-up for the CARIFTA Games. He will be joined in the 200 by fellow freshman Kieran Showler-Davis.
"We hope to get some things done," Braman said.
Those Seminoles who aren't competing this weekend will return to action next week, with the sprinters and middle distance runners heading to the Florida Relays, while Braman's distance men and a select group of women, travel to Stanford.
Look for updates via Twitter @FSU_Track and recaps from the two-day meets at Seminoles.com. Live results from UNF will be available here: http://www.halfmiletiming.com/Datafiles/Spring2012/UNF12/UNFOsprey12/UNFInvite12.htm