May 6, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State track and field teams will host its third and final home meet of the 2009 season this weekend at the Mike Long Track. The Seminoles Twilight will feature an array of athletes vying for their ticket to regionals as the Seminoles only have two more meets before the NCAA Regionals in three weeks, May 29-30, held in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The invitational will begin Friday, May 8th at 12 p.m. and go through Saturday night. Among the top notch programs slated to participate this weekend are Georgia Tech, Auburn, Florida, Albany State and North Florida.
“This is not a huge meet in terms of numbers of teams or individuals competing, but the competition is going to be very strong,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “We are going to have some really good unattached athletes competing this weekend. It’s that time of the year where some of the post collegiate athletes are really looking for performances to try to qualify for the USA Senior Championship or the international athletes looking to qualify for their national championships. It really heats up. We have very talented post collegiate athletes competing.”
The men look to increase their regional marks by enlisting several athletes to debut in new events. One of the most competitive events throughout the meet will be the men’s 400m dash where the dynamic duo of Jonathan and Kevin Borlee (Brussels, Belgium) compete in their first individual events of the season along side Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Fla.) and Brandon O’Connor (Miami, Fla.). Also featuring an array of talented men will be the long jump where sophomore Ngoni Makusha (Mandedza, Zimbabwe) hopes to bounce back from an injury caused in the indoor season that has prevented the NCAA Champion and Olympian from competing in the outdoor season.
“From our side, we will have the Borlee brothers, Charles Clark and Brandon O’Connor running the 400m season debut which will be a great race,” Braman said. “We have a really good men’s 800m and 1500m run with great FSU and post collegiate athletes. Those races are going to be really competitive.
“The men’s long jump is really good because of so many of the post collegian athletes are in this area training. It is going to be a really good event. It looks a little bit better on the men’s side than the women’s side.”
As for the women who are projected to win the national title according to Track and Field News, jumpers Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) and Tiara Swanagan (Orange Park, Fla.) will be among Florida State’s top athletes competing this weekend. Sprinters Danielle Jeffrey (Kingston, Jamaica) and Auja Pughsley (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) will battle for regional qualifications in the 200m dash while Liz Mabry (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) and Callie Giffin (Tyler, Texas) are just two of eight Seminoles competing in the pole vault.
“There are some good short sprinters on the women’s side in the 100m and 200m,” Braman added. “Most of our women have done their work in the meet last week at Stanford so the only ones that are left are the athletes doing the odd races like Kim Williams and Tiara Swanagan in the triple jump. Tiara needs to get a better jump so she gets in easily into nationals.”