June 22, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - Florida State junior James Harris matched his personal-best time in the finals of the 400-meter dash at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday, placing fifth in 45.23.
Harris, who came into the finals as the No. 7 seed, was just .01 seconds out of fourth place at the finish. Josh Mance, who was enrolled at FSU in the spring and trained in Tallahassee, was fourth (45.22).
LaShawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic champion, won in 44.21 and was followed by Tony McQuay (44.74) and Arman Hall (45.01). Harris will have an opportunity to compete for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia later this summer as the member of the 4x400 relay pool.
His fifth-place finish comes one day after Seminole teammate Dentarius Locke placed sixth in the 100-meter finals to earn a spot on the Team USA 4x100 relay pool at the World Championships.
Three former Seminoles also competed Saturday in the preliminary rounds of the 200-meter dash at Drake University. Brandon Byram, Maurice Mitchell and Charles Clark all advanced to Sunday's semifinal round.
Byram, a multi-time All-American for the Seminoles who completed his eligibility in 2011, got things going by winning heat 3 in 20.21, which was the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the preliminary rounds. Mitchell and Clark, who combined for three consecutive NCAA 200-meter titles while representing the Seminoles, also moved on.
Clark was the first to grab an automatic spot in the semis, finishing second to 100-meter champion Tyson Gay in the first heat of the preliminary round. Clark checked in with a time of 20.57. Mitchell followed with a runner-up finish to his former collegiate rival Ameer Webb in heat two, posting a time of 20.38.
The top four finishers in Sunday's two semifinal heats, set for 3:05 p.m. (ET). will advance to the finals later in the day.
Also on Saturday, incoming transfer Otniel Teixeira notched a personal-best time of 3:56.55 to place 10th in the finals of the Junior Championships 1500-meter run. Teixeira will enroll at FSU in the fall as a transfer from USF.
In addition to the 200 semifinals, two other Seminoles will compete Sunday as the USA Championships draw to a close. Lacy Harper (Janson), a 2012 Olympian, is vying for her third trip to the IAAF World Outdoor Championships as a member of Team USA.
Harris will also get another crack at earning a medal Sunday in the high jump competition, where he enters as the No. 5 seed.
Whalen claims second Canadian Nationals silver medal
Florida State junior Chelsea Whalen grabbed her second silver medal in as many days of competition at the Canadian National Championships Saturday, setting a new personal-best in the javelin with a throw of 51.15 meters (167-9). That marked moved Whalen to No. 2 on FSU's all-time list, behind school record holder Kari Keith (53.30m, 1990).
Whalen eclipsed her previous personal-best mark on three of her six throws in the competition at Moncton, New Brunswick, including an opening throw of 50.11 meters. That marked the first time she had eclipsed the 50-meter mark in her career.
The Liverpool, Nova Scotia native now holds the Province record in both the shot put and javelin.
"My main goal going in was to hopefully PR," said Whalen, who was seeded fifth entering the javelin competition. "I had shot put out the way, so my attitude was just do the best you can. ... There was more in there, but it didn't come out there in the end."
Whalen claimed her first silver medal in the shot put on Friday with a mark of 16.20 meters (53-1.75). This marked just her second appearance at Canada's Senior National Championships.
"It definitely is [a highlight] and it's great that it's so close, so my friends and family could come up and watch," said Whalen, whose home is just four hours away from the championship site.
Whalen will represent Canada at the World University Games in Russia next month.
Signee Mackey wins Bahamas 200 title
Trevorano Mackey, who will enroll at FSU in the fall, will bring a national title to Tallahassee with him after capturing the 200-meter dash gold medal at the Bahamas Open Nationals Saturday. Mackey backed up his No. 1 qualifying time of 20.60 on Friday with a winning time of 20.71.
It was the second medal of the meet for the NJCAA All-American from South Plains (Tex.) Community College. Mackey finished third in the 100 on Friday (10.25).
Junior Alonzo Russell will compete in the 400-meter dash finals Sunday at the Bahamas Open Nationals after qualifying with the third-fastest time.
FSU freshman and school record-holder Kellion Knibb placed fourth in the discus at the Jamaican National Championships on Saturday in Kingston.
Former Seminole star Kimberly Williams will compete in the triple jump in Kingston on Sunday, while FSU signee Chad DaCosta will compete in the shot put.