April 1, 2017 - by
Droogsma Finds His Groove At Florida Relays

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Austin Droogsma delivered the Florida State throws group its second event title of the Pepsi Florida Relays, winning the Saturday’s invitational shot put. With his top mark of 19.70 meters (64-7.75), Droogsma solidified his No. 2 national ranking. The redshirt junior from Gulf Breeze, Fla. has posted shot put personal-bests in three of his last four meets, and his four competitive throws over 19 meters at Percy Beard Stadium are more than he had in his career entering the day.

 

“My understanding of the technique is higher than it has ever been in my career, and it shows,” Droogsma said, after accepting congratulations from his competitors following the first major win of his career. “It shows in the circle and in practice every day. Now it’s coming out here and translating in competition.”

And from the beginning of warm-ups on a steaming hot afternoon, Droogsma was locked in and prepared to build on his week-old personal best set last week at the FSU Relays.

“Last week at the home meet when I threw the 19.22 it really felt like I didn’t catch it all the way and there was still a lot in there,” he said. “So we were coming into this meet looking for that big throw. I didn’t know it was going to be that big, but that’s what it came out to be and I did it twice today.”

Droogsma followed with a first round mark of 19.21 by unloading a 19.66 (64-6) in the second round that would be good enough to win. The leader heading into the finals, he followed an 18.71 with a 19.08 before centering his 19.70 bomb down the middle of the sector.

“Austin continues to amaze me,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “He’s hitting lifetime bests virtually every time he steps into the ring.”

Droogsma exited the competition trailing only South Carolina’s Josh Awotunde (19.78m) among collegians nationally.

Droogsma Finds His Groove At Florida Relays

FSU’s field event athletes wrapped up the meet with strong efforts. Sophomore Armani Wallace finished fourth in the triple jump with his best collegiate mark – indoors or outdoors – since last May. The Orlando, Fla. native posted a second-round leap of 15.92 meters (52-2.75), which stood up as the second-best among collegians in the field behind Florida’s KeAndre Bates (16.31m/53-6.25).

Bates now leads the nation, while Wallace sits third nationally.

“Armani found his stride and had several good jumps,” Braman said.

Emmanuel Onyia continued his strong senior season, and while he was unable to keep his streak of personal-bests alive, he did register two more marks of 56 meters including his eighth-place throw of 56.46 (185-3) in the men’s invitational discus competition.

“Onyia probably has more 56-meter discus throws than anyone in FSU history,” Braman said. “He’s as consistent as it gets. Now we’re looking for that next big jump.”

Gleneve Grange narrowly missed the finals of the women’s invitational shot put, posting a 10th-place finish with a best of 15.75 meters (51-8.25).

Down at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, sophomore Edward Clarke finished seventh in the 100-meter dash final in 10.54.

In the early hours of Saturday morning on the east coast, Seminole junior Mackenzie Landa raced to a lifetime-best 10,000-meter run of 35:03.53, which will likely qualify the Fresno State transfer for the NCAA East Preliminary meet. Her time ranks 11th-best in FSU history.

Collectively, the Seminoles piled up 14 new personal-best marks on the weekend between three meets.

The Seminoles will be back on the road next week when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. In the team-scored Tennessee Relays.

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