April 19, 2012
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Florida State's Breandan O Neill and Michael Fout nearly eradicated a 20-point deficit to Virginia Tech Thursday evening at Virginia's Lannigan Field, finishing first and third in the men's 10,000-meter run.
The 16-point haul pulled the Seminoles - who are seeking their eighth consecutive ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championship - within four points of the Hokies heading into Friday's action.
Under virtually perfect weather conditions, Fout and O Neill were among a lead group that pulled the field through the early stages of the 25-lap race. With six laps to go, Fout began pushing the pace, with O Neill and Virginia's Sean Keveren following along.
O Neill made his play for the front with four laps remaining, opening up a 25-meter cushion with a strong surge. From there the Sandymount, Ireland native held on for the win in 29:30.00, breaking a 23-year Lannigan Field track record. Keveren clipped Fout (29:32.43) for second.
"That was huge," FSU coach Bob Braman said afterward. "I felt like all day long our guys did a great job. ... I thought we had a great day and I think that kind of stepping up - Markindey [Sineus] may have been the big surprise or O Neill when we win - those are huge. I'm just so excited for these guys. They have a lot of pride in where we are. It's going to take that kind of day over and over for us to pull this out. And we've got to stay healthy."
Virginia Tech carried a 28-8 lead into the men's 10,000, but was shut out, enabling the Seminoles to cut the deficit to 28-24.
"I'm just super-pleased," Braman added. "They came really focused. They didn't worry about us being 20-point underdogs [to Virginia Tech]."
The Seminoles received an added boost in the hammer as Markindey Sineus and Trevor Andrews finished fourth and sixth, respectively, good for eight points. Sineus, a redshirt freshman, unleashed a huge personal-best of 57.79 meters (189-7) on his very first throw at an ACC Outdoor Championship meet. He came into competition with a career-best of 54.34 (178-3).
Andrews, a redshirt junior, improved one spot from his 2011 ACC meet finish on the strength of his throw of 52.91 (173-7).
The eight-point haul kept the Seminoles within striking distance of championship-contending Virginia Tech, which used a 1-2 finish in the hammer to put 18 points on the board in the first event of the three-day meet. The Hokies added a victory in the javelin to push their total to 28 entering the evening-ending 10,000-meter run.
Kayleigh Tyerman gave the FSU women their first points of the championship, holding off Duke's Juliet Botorff for fifth place in the 10,000-meter run. Tyerman crossed the finish in 34:06.39 - the fourth-fastest time in FSU history - in her first venture into the grueling 25-lap event.
Jennifer Dunn was ninth, was one spot out of scoring, in 34:59.94.
Beyond the only finals completed on opening day, Florida State is set up well for a productive performance in the decathlon. Fifth-year graduate student Gonzalo Barroilhet is just nine points out of first place after five events, while sophomore Daniel Salgado is seventh.
Competing in his first ACC Outdoor decathlon, Barroilhet registered all-time best performances in the 100-meter dash (10.99), shot put (14.34m/47-0.75) and high jump (2.06m/6-9) to build a temporary lead over Duke's Curtis Beach. Beach, the NCAA Indoor Heptathlon champion, regained the lead with a blazing win in the 400-meter dash (46.96).
Barroilhet will begin the final day, which includes the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500-meter run, trailing Beach 4060-4051.
"There's enough pressure there that things happen," Braman said. "I don't want to get ahead of the horse, but we need to qualify for the NCAA. He's never broke 8,000 points but he looks like he's got a shot to do it with four good events tomorrow - two great ones (110 hurdles, pole vault).
"We're excited for Gonzalo. He's got a chance to do something huge. If he gets the win, that could be two more points [than second place] and that could be huge."
Not to be overlooked, Salgado is well-positioned for a podium finish as well, piling up 3,469 points on the opening day. The sophomore also registered personal-best in the 100 (11.34) and high jump (1.88m/6-2) to pad his total, and like Barroilhet, is strong in the 110-meter hurdles.
Action resumes Friday at 12 noon with the start of the decathlon, and will include a heavy dose of preliminary rounds, leading up to Saturday's finals.
You can follow all of the action via Twitter @FSU_Track and catch up with a complete recap at the end of each day at Seminoles.com.
Additional coverage, including live streaming Friday and Saturday, will be available here http://bit.ly/2012ACCOTF, and live results throughout the meet can be monitored at http://bit.ly/2012ACCOTF-Results.