May 26, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State men’s and women’s track & field teams (men No. 3/women No. 25) opened NCAA East Regional competition in Bloomington, Ind. Thursday with six Seminoles advancing to the NCAA Track & Field Championships and eight others qualifying for further first-round competition.
Junior Michael Putman was the first FSU student-athlete to advance to the final site. Putman qualified for a trip to Des Moines, Iowa by placing third in the men’s shot put with a personal-record toss of 61’11.50”.
Following Putman was senior star Kim Williams. The Kingston, Jamaica native will head to the final site and compete in the women’s long jump after she achieved a qualifying distance of 20’7.25” on Thursday. Amy Harris will also represent the Seminoles at the NCAA Championships after she, too, qualified with a 20’6.25”.
Also in the field events, Ngoni Makusha moved onto the final meet with a top distance of 26’4.8’ in the men’s long jump.
While the field athletes started the competition, the distance runners – specifically the men’s 10000m runners – capped off the first day.
Ciaran O’Lionaird continued his torrid pace through his final year in the garnet and gold by advancing to Iowa with a 29:09.75 third-place finish in the men’s 10000m run. Mike Fout was right on his teammates’ heels in advancing with a 29:09.89.
“I felt like from a national standpoint we did everything that we had to do today,” FSU head coach Kim Williams and Amy Harris were huge as well and Ngoni didn’t even have to jump much. The 10,000-meter guys were excellent.”
Hannah Brooks and Amanda Winslow were the first ’Noles to advance to the next round of competition on Indiana’s campus by performing well in the women’s 1500m run. Brooks ran a 4:26.16 while Winslow ran a 4:22.25 to move on to the semifinals on Saturday.
In the highly-anticipated men’s 100m dash prelims, Maurice Mitchell, Kemar Hyman Makusha both ran their way to advancement. Mitchell placed second with a time of 10.20 and Makusha wasn’t far behind in fourth with a 10.34. Hyman ran a 10.52. A few minutes prior, Marecia Pemberton also advanced to the semifinals with an 11.64 qualifying run in the women’s 100m.
Brittany St. Louis then dashed her way to an advancing time of 54.65 in the women’s 400m prelims. Like St. Louis, Brandon O’Connor sprinted his way into the semifinals of the men’s 400m dash. O’Connor finished fifth in his race with a time of 46.90.
The next ’Nole to qualify for advancement was Violah Lagat. The junior distance runner posted a 2:07.92 in the women’s 800m run.
In the men’s 400m hurdles prelims, Tremaine Grant’s time of 53.12 was not enough to move on to the second day. Also not qualifying was Alex Smyth, who posted a 3:52.67 in the men’s 1500m run, and Darrin Gibson, who had a 1:51.87. Seth Proctor – despite having a personal-record time — and Wes Rickman were unable to move on in the men’s 10000m run and FSU’s trio of three pole vaulters, Lizbeth Mabry, Callie Giffin and Lauren Giffin, also did not qualify.
“The 100-meter guys and Marecia Pemberton were very fast,” Braman said. “Brandon O’Connor may have finished sixth but he was the fastest in his heat. The only setback we had was that we lost Paul Madzivire in the long jupm because he is dinged up. He’s a wildcard that you hope gets points.
“Coach (Karen) Harvey’s distance runners were three-for-three, which doesn’t surprise anyone.”