Jan. 16, 2009
Tallahassee, Fla. – The weather was frigid and competition aggressive, yet the Seminoles were able to keep focus and make several accomplishments in just the first day of the VT Hokie Invitational. Located in Blacksburg, Va., Virginia Tech played host to 18 other schools.
“Everyone put in a great fall training,” said associate head coach Harlis Meaders. “Our coaches have done a heck of a job preparing them for the season.”
When Florida State track and field coaches prepare their athletes for the upcoming season, they plan for national championships, not just meets. Sophomore jumper Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) reiterated this point as she leaped to a first place finish, reset the school record and made the NCAA automatic mark with 14.03m, almost making the national record mark of 14.25. Coming in right behind her in second was junior Tiara Swanagan (Orange Park, Fla.) with a NCAA provisional mark of 13.18m. Hurdles were no exception for record setting as sophomore Teona Rodgers (Tampa, Fla.) placed third and set a personal record with 8.36 in the 60m hurdles. Newcomer Christal Washington (Hollywood, Fla.) took her team’s guidance and came in third in the 1,000m run with a finish time of 2:52.02. Finishing off the successful day for the women was junior thrower Caila Coleman (Tallahassee, Fla.) taking fourth in the women’s weight throw with 16.65m.
“I think it was a fantastic first day,” said Meaders. “Kim Williams was the highlight for the women for her personal best jump she set today.”
Training for the men’s team went just as well as the women. Sophomore Ngoni Makusha (Mandedza, Zimbabwe) took the title and made a NCAA provisional mark in the 60m dash with 6.68. Freshman Maurice Mitchell (Kansas City, Mo.) wasn’t far behind with 6.73 that gave him a third place finish and NCAA provisional mark. Taking the second title of the day was senior Matt Wernke (Tallahassee, Fla.) wining the men’s weight throw with 18.00m. Travis Whitfield (Jay, Fla.) took fourth in the same event with 16.52m.
“Ngoni Makusha and Maurice Mitchell did a fantastic job for the men today,” said Meaders. “This sets the bar really high for the rest of the season.”
Florida State continues competition tomorrow morning. For more information on Florida State athletics, go to www.seminoles.com.