May 29, 2009 - by
Florida State Opens First Day Of NCAA Regionals With Good Showing

May 29, 2009

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Although inclement weather was expected to delay the 2009 NCAA East Regional Championships Friday, May 29th, the sun continued to shine for the Florida State track and field teams (Men-No. 5/Women-No. 3) at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T. A total of nine Seminoles were successful in prevailing past the preliminaries and will make an appearance in the finals on Saturday, May 30, in the final day of the regional meet. The Garnet and Gold also nationally qualified four athletes for next month’s NCAA Outdoor Championship.

“The women had a flawless day,” FSU head coach Kim Williams in the long jump, Teona Rodgers doing a nice job in the hurdles, the 4×100 tying for first which was big, Susan in the 1500m and Pilar looked great. The women really took care of business.

“The men’s side had a lot of good things. Andrew in the high jump was great as well as Bryan Howard with the huge upset. Javi was the number one qualifier with a lifetime best. Matt Leeder came in here and competed really really well. We would have liked for Putnam to have made it in the shot put. Now if Ngoni is 12th we have a chance in the at-large pool.”

The Seminoles started setting the good foundation early in the meet. Senior Bryan Howard kicked-off the day in the javelin where the Warminster, Pa., native posted a first-place throw of 64.48m/211-06 to win the first flight. The forceful throw earned Howard fourth place in the finals and is noted as a new personal record.

Despite changes in the line-up due to injuries, the men’s quartet of Maurice Mitchell (Kansas City, Mo.), Brian Chibudu (Harare, Zimbabwe), Kevin Williams (Miami, Fla.) and Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) took the track for the 4x100m relay where the men overcame the obstacle to earn first place in their heat with a time of 39.63. The four Seminoles will battle in the finals tomorrow afternoon after the women’s final.

Junior Andrew Batchelor was the second Seminole for the men to earn a ticket to nationals in the high jump. Batchelor, born in Titusville, Fla., earned fifth place and reset his personal record with his jump of 2.13m/6-11.75.

Sprinters proved their dominance in the 400m dash were the dynamic duo of Kevin and Jonathan Borlee (Brussels, Belgium) led the way with their first (45.80) and second place (45.84) finished, respectively. The brothers both will compete in the finals tomorrow at 6:20 p.m. Clark and Mitchell also showed their Garnet and Gold in the 200m dash where both Seminoles will compete in the finals tomorrow afternoon. Clark’s qualifying time of 20.83 earned him fourth place while Mitchell took sixth place as he crossed the line in 20.93.

Senior Javier Garcia-Tunon continued on the warpath in the 400m hurdles where the Miami, Fla., native bettered his already chart topping performance with a time 50.23 to set a new personal record. The Seminole has now held the Atlantic Coast Conference record this season for over a month. Garcia-Tunon’s time is noted as the seventh-best program performance in history.

Earning the last ticket to nationals on the men’s squad was sophomore Matt Leeder. Leeder, a Brockville, Ontario native, hit the track for the final men’s competition in the 5000m run where the Seminole posted a fourth-place finish time of 14:17.55.

The women’s 4x100m relay squad cruised past the competition with their first-place preliminary time of 43.91. The foursome of Nicole Marcus (Tallahassee, Fla.), Candyce McGrone (Indianapolis, Ind.), Danielle Jeffrey (Kingston, Jamaica) and Teona Rodgers (Tampa, Fla.) blew the competition away to earn a spot at the finals tomorrow afternoon.

Rodgers then went on to make her second appearance on the track in the 100m hurdles. The sophomore qualified for the finals with her seventh-place finish time of 13.42.

Hitting the track next was Susan Kuijken (Nijmegen, Netherlands) for the 1500m preliminary run. The senior highlighted the track with her time of 4:19.91, earning her first place. Her time not only qualified her for the finals tomorrow, but also set a new Irwin Belk Track record that was previously set in 2006.

Three-time All-American Kim Williams dominated the long jump once again as the sophomore earned first place with a new lifetime best record of 6.66m/21-10.25. The Kingston, Jamaica native, who now holds the second-best performance in the nation, will hit the field tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to defend her regional crown from last year.

The next Seminole to earn a spot in the finals on Saturday was Pilar McShine (port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) in the 800m run. McShine took first place in heat one with a time of 2:06.88 and finished in second-place overall in the preliminaries.

Posting up three points for the women was junior Lizbeth Mabry (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) in the pole vault with a mark of 3.91m/12-10.00 to help the women move into second place.

Follow the Seminoles tomorrow as live stats will be available on


Men’s Javelin Finals:

4. Bryan Howard 64.48m/211-06.00 PR, N

Men’s Shot Put Finals:

24. Michael Putman 16.22m/53-02.75

Men’s High Jump Finals:

5. Andrew Batchelor 2.13m/6-11.75 PR, N

Men’s Long Jump Finals:

12. Ngoni Makusha 7.19m/23-07.25

14. Brian Chibudu 7.15m/23-05.50

Men’s 4x100m Relay Prelims:

3. Florida State (Mitchell, Chibudu, Williams, Clark) 39.63 Q

Men’s 1500m Run Prelims:

19. Justin Harbor 3:51.05

Men’s 400m Dash Prelims:

1. Kevin Borlee 45.80 Q

2. Jonathan Borlee 45.84 Q

22. Kevin Williams 47.64

Men’s 800m Run Prelims:

30. Nathan Duby 1:52.57

Men’s 400m Hurdles Prelims:

1. Javier Garcia-Tunon 50.23

Men’s 200m Dash Prelims:

4. Charles Clark 20.83 Q

6. Maurice Mitchell 20.93 Q

Men’s 5000m Run Finals:

4. Matt Leeder 14:17.55 N

Women’s Long Jump Finals:

1. Kim Williams 6.66m/21-10.25 PR, N

9. Amy Harris 6.15m/20-02.25

14. Heather Leblanc 5.89m/19-04.00

Women’s Pole Vault Finals:

6. Lizbeth Mabry 3.91m/12-10.00

Women’s Discus Finals:

11. Kamorean Hayes 46.41m/152-03

Women’s 4x100m Relays Prelims:

T1. Florida State (Marcus, McGrone, Jeffrey, Rodgers) 43.91 Q

Women’s 1500m Prelims:

1. Susan Kuijken 4:19.91 Q

Women’s 100m Hurdles Prelims:

7. Teona Rodgers 13.42 q

31. Valerie Flournoy 14.40

Women’s 100m Dash Prelims:

9. Danielle Jeffrey 11.67

Women’s 800m Run Prelims:

2. Pilar McShine 2:06.88 Q

PR=Personal Record

N=Nationally Qualified

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