June 10, 2014
EUGENE, Ore.- From the first throw in Wednesday's opening event and well into the night, the Florida State track & field program will have a prominent presence as the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships begins at Historic Hayward Field.
The Seminoles boast one of the larger and most balanced programs competing over the next four days on the University of Oregon campus. FSU has a combined 17 event qualifiers - nine for women and eight for men - which ranks 11th among all NCAA Division I programs on hand. Perhaps most impressively, the FSU women are one of only three teams - male or female - to have an athlete competing in all seven event disciplines (sprints/hurdles, middle distance, distance, relays, jumps, throws and multi-events).
And while qualifying for the NCAA Championships is no small feat, the Florida State teams are here with far greater expectations. Wednesday will clearly set the tone for the entire meet.
Sophomore Katja Vangsnes, FSU's first NCAA Championships qualifier in the women's hammer, will literally launch the four-day meet as she is makes the opening throw in the first flight. Sophomore long jumper Der'Renae Freeman will also take flight Those are the only two finals involving Seminoles which will be contested on opening day.
Qualifying rounds, however, are equally important and the `Noles are facing a full schedule.
Both the men's and women's 4x100 relays will try and make their way into Friday's finals. For three Seminole men - senior co-captains Dentarius Locke and James Harris and freshman Cejhae Greene - the relay will mark the first of two events on the day.
Locke, the 2013 NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the 100-meter dash and the reigning NCAA Indoor 60-meter champion, takes his first step toward becoming FSU's fourth 100-meter champion in the semifinal round. The Tampa, Fla. native posted the fastest qualifying mark (10.03) in the field from the NCAA Preliminary meets, contested two weeks ago. He will be joined by Greene, who is one of 14 `Noles making their NCAA Outdoor Championships debut.
Harris, who was fifth a year ago in the 400-meter dash, will be joined by freshman Michael Cherry in the 400 semifinals. They hold the No. 5 and No. 7 times, respectively, in FSU history for the event.
Sophomore ACC Outdoor champion Otniel Teixeira will try and keep his magical season going against a stout field in the men's 800-meter semifinal.
Pippa Woolven will make her NCAA Outdoor debut in the 3,000-meter steeplechase semifinal to close the opening day of action for the `Noles. Woolven advanced to the meet with the fourth-fastest time in the field (9:54.24).
While the action at the track begins at 4:30 p.m. (ET), ESPN3 will begin streaming its live coverage starting at 6:55 p.m. ESPN3 will also stream Thursday's competition, again at 6:55, with ESPNU picking up the coverage for Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.).
You can monitor the Seminoles in action by following @FSU_Track on Twitter throughout the four-day competition. A complete recap of each day, including video highlights, will be posted to Seminoles.com.
Live results can be tracked at: http://results.flashresults.com/2014_Meets/outdoor/06-09-NCAA/