May 8, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- With just two weeks remaining to post NCAA East Preliminary qualifying marks, the Florida State track & field teams will try and make the most of their final home meet of the season at Friday's Seminole Twilight.
And there should be ample competition to push the Seminoles, especially the sprinters, to season-best performances. The field will include athletes from 21 colleges, including rival Florida, Clemson and Tulane, as well as members of the Belgium and Saudi Arabia national teams.
One of the featured races figures to be the 400-meter dash, where 2013 All-American James Harris will make his season-debut at that distance and face a field which is scheduled to include Belgium Olympian Dylan Borlee, British Olympians Andrew Steele and Luke Lennon-Ford and Saudi Ismaeel Al Subiani. Seminole senior Alonzo Russell will also compete in the first heat, hoping to improve on his No. 21 ranking in the NCAA East.
Florida State senior All-American Dentarius Locke will be joined by freshman teammate Cejhae Greene in the fast heat of the 100-meter dash, which will also include Clemson standouts Tevin Hester and Reggie Lewis, as well as former Auburn All-American Marcus Rowland.
The women's 100-meter hurdles will also feature a stout field, led by FSU junior Anne Zagre, who is currently ranked sixth in the NCAA East. Former collegiate All-Americans Ugonna Ndu (Florida) and Kimberly Laing (Alabama) will also push the field, which should benefit Seminole freshman Nicole Setterington's bid to improve on her No. 23 East ranking.
Both the men's and women's 4x100 relay events should be hotly contested. The Seminole men have yet to put together their top quartet, but Russell, Locke, Greene and Paul Madzivire hope to improve on the team's No. 16 East ranking.
The primary focus for all of the collegiate competitors will be securing a ranking within the top 48 in each individual event, and a trip to the NCAA East Preliminary.
Harris isn't the only FSU athlete in need of a qualifying mark over the next two weekends. Currently, Austin Droogsma (shot put and discus) is outside the top 48, as is Chad DaCosta (shot put), pole vaulter Cayman Ellis, 400-meter hurdler Namer Ray and high jumpers Cristbal Hurtado-Arteaga and Nick Medich.
On the women's side for the Seminoles, 400-meter hurdlers Marsha Ariol and Sarah Chandler enter the meet ranked 65th and 79th, respectively, in the East. Briana Cherry-Bronson is ranked 54th in the hammer throw and in need of a solid move. Jande Pierce (No. 79, 200) and Sydnee Over (No. 89, 800) need significant breakthroughs, as do the 400-meter hurdle tandem of Marsha Ariol (No. 65) and Sarah Chandler (No. 79).
The competition begins at 3 p.m. with the javelin inside Mike Long Track, and the hammer throw out off campus on Levy Rd., across from the National Magnetic Lab. The running events begin at 6:30 p.m.
You can follow the action via Twitter @FSU_Track and at halfmiletiming.com, with a complete recap of the meet posted to Seminoles.com.