April 8, 2009
The Florida State track and field teams will stay put in Tallahassee for their last weekend of preparation before next weekend’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. The Seminoles, with the men’s team ranked No. 5 and the women’s No. 17 in this week’s USTFCCCA poll, will host their second meet of the season, the Seminole Invitational, Friday April 10-11th. The Mike Long Track will welcome eight universities including FAMU, Jacksonville, Georgia Tech and Northwestern State.
“This is our last big tune-up for the conference meet,” Florida State head coach Bob Braman said. “We’re trying to get set some good times to get decent flights for the conference meet and also trying to get tuned up because some of our people have competed in only one or two outdoor meets so we really need a competition. The number one goal is not only to compete well, but to come out of this healthy because next week is way more important. We’ve got a lot of work to do so it’s really important for us to have a home meet.”
In addition to strong competition at the meet, track enthusiasts will receive a special treat when former Seminole and Olympian Walter Dix opens his outdoor season at the Mike Long Track Saturday in the 100m dash, scheduled for 4:05 p.m. The 18-time All-American and eight-time NCAA Champion will be available for autographs and pictures on Saturday as well.
“We will have some of our elite athletes running and the Tallahassee community doesn’t get the chance to see many of them throughout the season so that will be pretty neat for the public,” Braman said. “Another exciting element to this weekend’s event is that Walter Dix will be competing in the 100m dash and has offered to sign autographs. This weekend is just another chance for the community to come out and see what the best track program in America is all about.”
The two-day meet will feature an array of Seminoles vying for their ticket to regionals while also preparing for stiff competition at the league meet in Miami, Fla.
FSU’s high jumpers will kick off the invitational on Friday with Danielle Jeffrey (Kingston, Jamaica), Tiara Swanagan (Orange Park, Fla.) and Heather Leblanc (Live Oak, Fla.) for the women. The men’s squad will utilize Tim Reen (Jupiter, Fla.), Andrew Bachelor (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Jacksonville, Fla., native Andrew Cleland.
As for the long jumpers, sophomore Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) is expected to dominate in the women’s event along with Amy Harris (Birmingham, England) while Brian Chibudu (Harare, Zimbabwe) and Bachelor will perform for the Seminole men.
Representing the Garnet and Gold in the pole vault will be Callie and Lauren Giffin (Tyler, Texas), Lizbeth Mabry (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) and Abbey Sutton (Valparaiso, Ind.) on the women’s side. Tallahassee native Warren Harper will be the lone Seminole for the men pole vaulters.
Kamorean Hayes (Charlotte, N.C.), Allyn Laughlin (Ambridge, Pa.), Tallahassee native’s Caila Coleman and Matt Wernke, Shariff Small (Kingston, Jamaica) and Michael Putman (Miami, Fla.) will be the throwers for Florida State on the field. Newcomer Pelle Rietveld (Zoetermeer, Netherlands) will be competing in the men’s javelin throw.
Meanwhile, joining Rietveld in the sprints will be Chibudu, Brandon O’Conner (Miami, Fla.), Justin Byrd (Lauderhill, Fla.) and Kevin Williams (Miami, Fla.). Freshmen sprinters Jonathan and Kevin Borlee (Brussels, Belgium) will test their speed as members of the men’s 4x400m relay.
“The ladies are running fast, the guys are running fast, and also we need to get our timing down with the relays,” Braman said. “Even though we ran really well at the Texas Relays, if we don’t keep competing you kind of lose pace there.”
Assistant coach Karen Harvey will also be prepping her distance runners this weekend with Pilar McShine (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago), Bree McArdle (Queensland, Australia), Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario), Amanda Quick (Tampa, Fla.) and Christina Woytalewicz (Brandon, Fla.) competing. Also look for Nathan Duby (Winter Springs, Fla.), Jason Lakritz (New Windsor, N.Y.), Nick Sunseri (Raleigh, N.C.) and Daniel Silva (Miami, Fla.) on the track for the men.