March 15, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –
He ignited the spark that led the Florida State men’s track and field team to the day one lead at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and on Saturday (March 15) he kept the momentum going with his own title. Freshman Gonzalo Barroilhet broke his own school record with a winning mark of 5,951 points in the heptathlon.
Barroilhet (Santiago, Chile) won Florida State’s first multi-event national championship despite not winning a single event. However, he did post a personal-best in five out of seven events. He beat Stanford’s Josh Hustedt by 85 points.
He is the second freshman to win the heptathlon, following Texas’ Donovan Killmartin who won the inaugural title in 2004. He beat his own school record of 5, 765 points, which seeded him sixth coming into the competition.
The win moved Florida State’s team total to 36 points, 12 ahead of Tennessee.
“Actually I didn’t feel that much pressure,” Barroilhet said. “I was focusing on what I needed to do in each event, not everything at once. I was just thinking one event at a time and just finish it.”
Barroilhet opened the second day of competition with yet another lifetime best. He finished third overall in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.96. That score gave him 987 points in the event and 4,252 overall. He had a 12-point lead over the event winner, Jangy Addy of Tennessee.
His lead improved dramatically after the pole vault. Barroilhet tied for second with a jump of 5.05m – after missing all three attempts at his career-high of 5.25m – for 926 points. That gave him a 178-point lead over Hustedt going into the final event of the heptathlon.
“Gonzalo has been bigger than his 10 points because he kicked us off yesterday, he got everybody believing, and he comes in today and finished the job,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “When the guys get here it’s not like `Oh, Gonzalo’s leading,’ he’s already put 10 points on the board. That’s huge. He went for it in everything. That was great, we really needed that.
The event title came down to the 1,000m run. With his lead over Hustedt, Barriolhet needed to finish no more than 16 second behind the Cardinal to win the heptathlon. He accomplished that easily, posting a personal-best time of 2:49.30, which was 5.2 seconds back of Hustedt, for 13th in the race but gave him the overall title.
Florida State has four individual athletes and the 4×400 relay on the men’s side and three competitors on the women’s side during the evening session. Live stats and video can be found at Arkansas home page: www.ladybacks.com