May 2, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- With final exams in the rearview mirror the Florida State track & field teams begin their push toward the NCAA postseason this weekend while competing on opposite sides of the country.
A group of 21 Seminole men and women are competing in the Jace LaCoste Invitational at Mississippi State, which wraps up Saturday, while eight FSU distance runners are tackling loaded fields on Sunday at Stanford's Payton Jordan Invitational.
Collectively, the Seminoles have their eyes set on either establishing or improving NCAA East Preliminary qualifying marks. The top 48 athletes in individual events qualify for the East meet, set for May 28-31 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
The LaCoste and Payton Jordan meets mark the first of three consecutive weekends of competition for the Seminoles to secure NCAA East Preliminary marks.
Florida State will host the Seminole Twilight next Friday, which will feature a solid field of competitors. While the majority of the team will compete at home, the men's distance group will head to Charlottesville, Va. next weekend for the Virginia Challenge. The Georgia Tech Invitational, May 15-16, will provide the `Noles with a last chance to post NCAA qualifying marks.
Saturday's Jace LaCoste Invitational will feature competition from host Mississippi State as well as Alabama, Iowa State, Oklahoma, UAB and Virginia Tech.
Among the featured events, Seminoles Otniel Teixeira and Jake Burton will face stiff competition in the 800-meter run. High jumpers Darius King, Cristobal Hurtado-Arteaga and Nick Medich are all hunting NCAA East marks, while Austin Droogsma is chasing qualifying standards in both the shot put and discus.
On the women's side, Der'Renae Freeman is well-positioned for an NCAA berth in the long jump, but will compete alongside teammates Maryke Brits and heptathlete Grete Sadeiko. Victoria Reiman will try and move into the top 48 in the discus.
At Stanford, Cal., some of the finest distance runners both nationally and internationally, will assemble. A trio of FSU women - Colleen Quigley, Linden Hall and Georgia Peel - will pursue 1500-meter marks, while Pippa Woolven races in the steeplechase and Hannah Walker in the 5000-meter run.
Senior Jakub Zivec will begin his late-season push for an NCAA qualifying mark in the 1500, while Glen Yarham will try and pick up a qualifying standard in the 5000. Zak Seddon, still battling back from injury, will compete in his second steeplechase race of the season with an eye toward making a second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance in his specialty.
Live results for both meets will be available online at: Jace LaCoste Invitational: http://branchsportstech.com/2014_Meets/outdoor/05-02-jacelacoste/index1.php
Complete wrap-ups from both meets will be posted at www.Seminoles.com at the conclusion of both meets.