Feb. 25, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The sixth-ranked Florida State women’s track and field team will travel to Blacksburg, Va., to compete at the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championship. Defending champion Virginia Tech will host the conference meet at the Rector Field House beginning Thursday, February 26. The Seminoles tied their best finish last year–equaling the 1997 and 2000 squads-in school history as they tied North Carolina for second place.
“This is going to be a lot of fun for us,” head coach Bob Braman said. “This will also be a battle because there are about four other teams who can win the championship. Defending champion Virginia Tech will probably be the crowd favorite while Clemson will be the dark horse with outstanding athletes. Miami has also won it a few years ago. North Carolina has one of their best teams ever. However, so do we. “
Leading the distance group will be ACC Champion Susan Kuijken (Nijmegen, Netherlands) who currently holds the second-fastest conference 3000M run with 9:05.70. Kuijken slashed the mile run conference record at the 2008 meet with her time of 4:36.91. She also anchored the distance medley relay that won the conference championship and set a new ACC record (11:11.03). Junior Christina Woytalewicz (Brandon, Fla.) will also be among the top distance runners this weekend. Earlier this season, Woytalewicz recorded the top 5000m run that ranks first in the conference (17:17.36).
Sophomore jumper Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) will be a strong asset for the Seminoles as she holds the triple jump conference record with 46-00.50/14.03m. The two-time NCAA All-American topped the triple jump competition at the conference meet last year with a first place mark of 44-00.75/13.43m. Williams earned top honors in 2008 when she was named the ACC Indoor Freshman of the Year. Junior co-captain Tiara Swanagan (Orange Park, Fla.) will also be instrumental for Florida State as the four-time All-ACC athlete has the third top triple jump in the league with 43-03.00/13.18m.
Sprinters will also be looked upon to contribute points as Teona Rodgers (Tampa, Fla.), Danielle Jeffrey (Kingston, Jamaica) and Britany St. Louis (Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) all own six top performance spots in the ACC. Other Garnet and Gold athletes to keep any eye on will be junior Pilar McShine (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago), who currently holds the second best mile run, newcomer Christal Washington (Hollywood, Fla.), one of the top 800m performers in the league, and Tallahassee native and a top conference weight thrower, junior Caila Coleman.
“We are really excited,” Braman added. “The meet is not going to be about who has the best personnel, but about who has the best meet as a team. We have to get the points from Kim Williams, Pilar McShine and Susan Kuijken who are so good at the national level in order to win.”